Claim: Global diet and farming methods ‘must change for environment’s sake’

From IOP PUBLISHING and the “our way or the highway” department:

Global diet and farming methods ‘must change for environment’s sake’

Reducing meat consumption and using more efficient farming methods globally are essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environmental, a new study says.

The research, from the University of Minnesota, also found that future increases in agricultural sustainability are likely to be driven by dietary shifts and increases in efficiency, rather than changes between food production systems.

Researchers examined more than 740 production systems for more than 90 different types of food, to understand the links between diets, agricultural production practices and environmental degradation. Their results are published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Lead author Dr Michael Clark said: “If we want to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, but still provide a secure food supply for a growing global population, it is essential to understand how these things are linked.”

Using life cycle assessments – which detail the input, output and environmental impact of a food production system – the researchers analysed the comparative environmental impacts of different food production systems (e.g. conventional versus organic; grain-fed versus grass-fed beef; trawling versus non-trawling fisheries; and greenhouse-grown versus open-field produce), different agricultural input efficiencies (such as feed and fertilizer), and different foods.

The impacts they studied covered levels of land use, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), fossil fuel energy use, eutrophication (nutrient runoff) and acidification potential.

Dr Clark said: “Although high agricultural efficiency consistently correlated with lower environmental impacts, the detailed picture we found was extremely mixed. While organic systems used less energy, they had higher land use, did not offer benefits in GHGs, and tended to have higher eutrophication and acidification potential per unit of food produced. Grass-fed beef, meanwhile, tended to require more land and emit more GHGs than grain-fed beef.”

However, the authors note that these findings do not imply conventional practices are sustainable. Instead, they suggest that combining the benefits of different production systems, for example organic’s reduced reliance on chemicals with the high yields of conventional systems, would result in a more sustainable agricultural system.

Dr Clark said: “Interestingly, we also found that a shift away from ruminant meats like beef – which have impacts three to 10 times greater than other animal-based foods – towards nutritionally similar foods like pork, poultry or fish would have significant benefits, both for the environment and for human health.

“Larger dietary shifts, such as global adoption of low-meat or vegetarian diets, would offer even larger benefits to environmental sustainability and human health.”

Co-author Professor David Tilman said: “It’s essential we take action through policy and education to increase public adoption of low-impact and healthy foods, as well the adoption of low impact, high efficiency agricultural production systems.

“A lack of action would result in massive increases in agriculture’s environmental impacts including the clearing of 200 to 1000 million hectares of land for agricultural use, an approximately three-fold increase in fertilizer and pesticide applications, an 80 per cent increase in agricultural GHG emissions and a rapid rise in the prevalence of diet-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

Professor Tilman added: “The steps we have outlined, if adopted individually, offer large environmental benefits. Simultaneous adoption of these and other solutions, however, could prevent any increase in agriculture’s environmental impacts. We must make serious choices, before agricultural activities cause substantial, and potentially irreversible, environmental damage.”

###

The paper: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa6cd5/meta;jsessionid=5EED19C983DCCF923E49456ACD271E2D.c1.iopscience.cld.iop.org

Advertisements

305 thoughts on “Claim: Global diet and farming methods ‘must change for environment’s sake’

  1. Our diets WILL change — we must take control over our food sovereignty NOW, before these control freaks try to dictate any further, and before the Grand Solar Minimum intensifies!

    iceagefarmer.com

    • So if Beef requires greater agricultural space for food to feed the cattle (grazing land), How much more agricultural space would be needed for farming if everyone DID go VEGAN

      • Let’s back up and try to understand the land use claim for cattle itself. I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time following their logic here, that cattle on pasture land equates to land use change, i.e. converting grassland to cropland or building a parking lot.

        What was the land before cattle? Grassland that sustained many animals, including millions of bovine. Now, the grassland is used to sustain millions of …bovine, and last I checked there were still the full range of biodiversity in grasslands save for a few apex predator species (which we’ve replaced).

        How exactly has the grassland changed if it is still being used exactly what it was used for in the past? I know herbicidal control has altered pasture land, but this is now being more properly managed than ever before. This is the same sophistry that led to the culling of thousands of elephants in Africa, except this time it is homo sapiens being targeted for culling.

      • Robert W Turner June 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

        … converting grassland to cropland …

        My wild ass guess is that any remaining grassland is not viable as crop land.

        A long time ago I was visiting a buddy in southwest Saskatchewan. I got the impression that the ranches were greater than ten square miles each. Buddy pointed out that in the early 1900s, the land was settled by farmers; each farm about a quarter of a square mile. You sure wouldn’t know it by looking around. The land is completely reverted to grassland.

      • University of Minnesota,…anyone else notice this?

        Minnesota is in the top 10 for beef production with over 2.5 million beef cattle

      • The raionale is that land that can grow grass to feed beef can grow vegetables that contain more nourishment per acre than the beef.

        In some ways this is absolutely true IF the land is suitable for arable usage.

        In many parts of the world upland pastures are not suitable for arable, and sheep and goats turn it into something of value. Or tundra. Reindeer graze on inedible lichens. Or grasslands. Cattle and other edible ruminants can eat it. Humans cant. Even pigs and poultry are forest floor dwellers that eat stuff we cant or dont, making handy protein packs in the process.

        What the vegans are on about is intensive factory farming, where you can feed more people off intensive factory farmed beansprouts and soyburgers than you can off cattle.

        That however does not apply to large tracts of the earth’s surface and certainly not to ‘sustainable’ farming …

        Then there is the sea…should we eat the plankton and starve the whales, or eat the whales…

        In the Little Green Mind its all so simple.

        Its just very complicated in real life, which is why the simple story goes down better.

      • Robert, the land may well have been tropical forest…

        Also in the US beef is more likely to get soy/grain feed than in other parts of the world… land use elsewhere may have gone to GM soy production to feed US beef… over 90 million acres of the US grow corn for animal feed.

      • Griff June 17, 2017 at 12:53 am

        Robert, the land may well have been tropical forest…

        Looking at the lush growth of a tropical forest, it’s easy to conclude that the soil must be really good. In fact, the opposite is true. link

      • I noticed that Griff just had to throw in that swipe against GM food.

        Regardless, most food in the US is wasted on pests or not being refrigerated. Or wasted to produce ethanol for our cars. We don’t have a food production problem – we have a food distribution and regulation problem.

      • “Giffiepoo June 17, 2017 at 12:53 am
        Robert, the land may well have been tropical forest…

        Also in the US beef is more likely to get soy/grain feed than in other parts of the world… land use elsewhere may have gone to GM soy production to feed US beef… over 90 million acres of the US grow corn for animal feed.”

        Once again, giffiepoo stretches the bounds of ignorance and arrogance. Especially since he has been educated on the true facts before. His brain is purest osmium, failing to retain truth and reality.

        “may well have been tropical”; absolutely specious giffiepoo! Throwing in an imaginary strawman distraction.
        Bogus argument.

        “U.S. beef is more likely to get soy/grain”; another totally specious claim. Back your specious strawman claim up with facts wacko! And not from loon sites, but from actual beef production official metrics!

        “land use elsewhere may have gone to GM soy production to feed US beef”; again a totally imaginary strawman distraction spread as manure without and instead of facts.
        giffiepoo alleges USA soybean import, when America is the largest producer and exporter of soybean; exporting the majority of every soybean crop.

        giffiepoo turns off his brains first, before checking any thing factual for the real numbers.

        over 90 million acres of the US grow corn for animal feed”. Pure arrogance!
        giffiepoo has just stated that the entire USA corn planting is targeted for animal feed; meaning us Americans and the countries we export corn to as food are all animals.

        90 million acres of corn is roughly the average total corn planted per year since 2010:
        Acres____Corn____Corn
        Year____Planted__Harvested
        2010/11 88.19 81.45
        2011/12 91.94 83.88
        2012/13 97.29 87.37
        2013/14 95.37 87.45
        2014/15 90.60 83.14
        2015/16 88.00 80.75
        2016/17 94.15 86.55

        A significant percentage is not harvested, but left to feed wildlife.

        Corn harvested fresh, may, depending on the farmer use the corn stalks for animal feed. The fresh corn is all aimed at human food.

        Corn harvested dry, the corn stalks are usually left in the field to be tilled under for soil improvement.

        Dry corn is not good feed for ruminants. It is high calorie dense food that ferments excessively in ruminant stomachs and intestines.
        Fresh corn stalks are good fodder for ruminants and pigs.

        The vast majority of corn used as “animal feed” is used for chickens and turkeys. Corn meal finds it’s way into many pet food products and even aquaculture.

        This is before admitting the fact that if farmers could raise cash crops on land, instead of beef; they would. One can not raise enough beef per acre to equal what can be earned raising corn, soy and wheat.
        Drive across the Midwest and West checking the land where cattle are raised.
        None of that beef occupied land is arable land without significant:
        rock removal,
        irrigation,
        soil amendment,
        fertilization, etc.

        Instead the cattle, sheep, goats, whatever thrive on the roughage they do get to eat, where crops are extremely difficult to raise.
        The East is similar, just lusher. Cattle and other ruminants are raised where raising crops is not possible.

        giffiepoo is baldly lying through his fangs! It begs the question(s); after spewing so many falsehoods so frequently, how such a pathetic trollop dares to admit their presence.

        By this quick review of USDA regarding corn harvests, by my estimation giffiepoo should never eat red meat, pork, chicken, turkey, tilapia, salmon, trout, carp, catfish and perhaps many more meat sources.
        Something, we have zero faith in; giffiepoo is simply a falsehood fount. What a waste of humankind.

        Like giffiepoo, Dr Michael Clark comes across another ignorant activist making proclamation based on pay and faith, not observations, science, facts or truth. Instead it is lie after lie.

      • And don’t forget USG mandated ethanol from corn. A good bit of America’s corn harvest is used in that.

      • “Once again, giffiepoo stretches the bounds of ignorance and arrogance. Especially since he has been educated on the true facts before.”

        You can inform the Grifter of the facts – complete with chapter, verse, numbers and links to peer-reviewed papers a thousand times, it will make no difference whatsoever, he will continue to post lies.

        He posts what he’s paid to post by his paymasters in the ‘Unreliables’ industry, nothing more, nothing less, and he has absolutely zero interest in the veracity of his posts.

      • Cattle have four stomachs, and teeth which wear out, unless caped with a metal tooth. Their feed is prepared in one of them for digestion in one of them, enabling them to convert grass & grains to energy which determine their ratio of fat, meat, milk or bone.

        Thus, areas where only grass grows will seldom have cattle ready to be slaughtered, or used to produce milk for consumption. Certain areas grow feeds which are not normlly consumed by people, but can be fed to cattle, as in the Texas Panhandle, which had only three or four feedlots until Wheatheart Feeders, Inc. began with 24,500 cattle on feed, later expanded to 65,000. It was expanded to hold 60,000 cattle, with subsidiary lots in Oklahoma and the state of Washington. Total capacity of 108,000. When the President froze beef prices, it collapsed, while we were preparing to expand. Now I am told the Panhandle is one of the largest cattle feeding area in the nation, and they do not have far to go to find cattle to feed. And the slaughter house followed with the ability to send beef to either coast.

        Cattle are brought to the feedlots, from nearby ranches in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and of course, Texas to feedlots similar to the one described, and with a very large radius of Amarillo, produce tons of beef daily for nearby killing plants.

        Grass and grain supply food, that otherwise would not be normally be consumed.

        WilliMc.

    • Grass-fed beef? Make my beef grain-fed. I like the kind of beef that is produced by steers fattened up on half-fermented silage. Don’t let those steers walk around all over the place grazing on grass, burning calories and making lean, tough muscle for me to chew in my steaks. Give me beef from bovines who spend their days confined to feed lots getting juicy and fat. I’ll buy it and eat it as long as I can. Let the dang markets sort out what we can afford and what we can’t.

      • If you believe cattle moseying around in small paddocks makes their meat tough and stringy, check out Joel Salatin and his practices on Polyface Farms in Virginia. Five times the county average cow-days/acre, soil remediation etc. He calls his product salad bar beef. His 5000+ direct purchase customers for beef, chicken, turkey, rabbit, and many other value added farm products seem to think he is on to something.
        He claims that using methods like his just on the acreage in the US wasted on lawns and horse pasture could completely replace the existing US agricultural food production and heal the land in the process.
        Search Youtube for Joel Salatin.

  2. The usual nonsense. I’ve written about this before at WUWT.

    Regards to all,

    w.

    Animal, Vegetable, or E. O. Wilson 2010-09-11

    Buoyed by the equal parts of derision and support I received for writing in “I am So Tired Of Malthus” about how humans are better fed than at any time in history, I am foolishly but bravely venturing once again into the question of how we feed ourselves. In a…

    Vegans are not from Vegas 2010-10-20

    In response to my recent post about whether we could feed more people if everyone were vegetarians (I say no), a poster named Marissa wrote a heartfelt paean to Veganism. Figure 1. Perhaps the world’s best-known adherent of a strict Vegan diet. Vegans are a kind of fundamentalist sect of born-again…

    • Agreed, this is more lifestyle moralising dressed up a science.

      “Cladding for Grenfell Tower was cheaper, more flammable option”
      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/16/manufacturer-of-cladding-on-grenfell-tower-identified-as-omnis-exteriors

      As I said as soon as I saw the sheets of flame licking up the side of that building the main cause of the disaster was the external thermal insulation, installed in 2016. I thought it would have been fire “resistant” foam but it’s worse than that. I was not even fire resistant.

      Apparently UK building regs do not even require fire resistant materials. It is fine to put flammable plastic foam all over the outside of the high rise.

      I emailed the Guardian suggesting that they look into it and it appears that they did.

      The AGW madness is now killing people. The “carbon footprints” are now those of the families tragically burned alive in a pathetic attempt to reduce “carbon emissions”. Well kudos UK govt. , how much “carbon” did you save with this one.

      • I hope that Building Regulations dealing with heat loss will be quickly amended so that such cladding can be removed from all tower blocks, that would put the Planet Savers between a rock and a hard place, where many of them belong.

      • Omnis Exteriors describes itself as a “leading UK manufacturer and supplier of exterior building products and systems”. Its website states: “With almost 400 multi-storey projects completed, you know that you are in good hands.”

        That gives an idea of how many other death traps have been created by this insanity.

      • In France, any renovation work on building facades, even older traditional stone construction now have to be fitted with external insulation cladding.

        I don’t know the details of what materials are permitted.

      • IIRC, there are 10,000 similarly clad buildings in the UK. Maybe the cost of installing and then removing the flammable cladding could be charged to the green climate fund, or to whatever green organizations had a hidden (so far) hand in this tunnel-vision project.

        The replacement cladding should be asbestos, to stick a thumb in their eye.

      • Greg,
        If their statement of “You know that you are in good hands” were ture, it would only be because you had Allstate Fire Insurance

      • “I thought it would have been fire “resistant” foam but it’s worse than that. I was not even fire resistant.”

        Possibly because the non-resistant foam is a better insullator.

      • climanrecon

        I posted on Paul Homewood’s ‘Not a lot of people know that’ the other day describing the well known effects of cladding old buildings with modern materials.

        By way of example, my daughter and I were looking at student accommodation for her this week. We viewed two modern buildings with double glazing and central heating designed and installed when the buildings were erected. No problem, nice buildings but more importantly, well ventilated, healthy buildings.

        We inspected three Victorian buildings and the stench of dampness upon walking in the door was overpowering. All fireplaces were, of course absent, a vital source of ventilation for these buildings, and the doors and windows were double glazed. The frequently painted over damp patches caused by condensation and poor ventilation were clearly evident. They were building of a time which do not respond well to modern concepts of energy saving or environmentalism. However, with the addition of modern mechanical ventilation, which of course can include heat recovery, they would have been immeasurably better, but building regulations don’t bother their arse with common sense details like that.

        Grenfell Tower is the high rise equivalent of the ‘cavity wall insulation’ and ‘double glazing’ frenzy of the last 30 years. Aged buildings, often past their functional life, brought up to ‘modern’ standards by additional materials. The practical consequences of these bizarre and irresponsible actions are usurped by the theoretical, spreadsheet driven efficiencies, ignoring the well documented downsides of dampness, fungal intrusion and consequent ill health.

        And whilst diesel emissions are cited as exacerbating chronic respiratory conditions, the wholesale conversion of old London buildings with double glazing and now ‘efficient’ log burners are likely to cause the conditions in the first place. But will that ever be be broadcast by our ignorant media? Despite Grenfell Tower, the focus of attention will at all costs avoid any finger of blame being pointed at our collective, insane focus on energy efficiency.

        We have all been suckered by the green blob at one point in our lives. In fact, at one point, we were all, unwittingly, likely part of the green blob, I certainly was.

        And if anyone has the financial wherewithal, to design and promote a simple, efficient, economical means of whole house ventilation of old Victorian buildings in England, they would make a financial killing, based on the health benefits alone. Particularly if it was supported by government legislation to address the cause of respiratory ill health, rather than simply point the finger at diesel, for example, which is a secondary irritant.

        Sorry, a rant, but I’m so pissed off with governments plastering over cracks instead of dealing with the underlying issues.

      • Question for Paris Accord expert:

        Is “de-cladding” an activity that monies from the USA would have been used for if the USA had been stupid enough to remain in the Paris Accord?

        Question for London mayor who can’t protect against terrorism either:

        Are there no adults that work in the London building code & inspection department?

      • “Sorry, a rant, but I’m so pissed off with governments plastering over cracks instead of dealing with the underlying issues.”

        But that is what government does. Governments are not there to help you, they are there to control you. There is nothing so dangerous as a bureaucrat making rules and regulations for you to follow. (all in your “best interest” of course)

      • “The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency.” — Eugene McCarthy

        And then the computer was invented, and now the only thing saving us from the bureaucracy is our fight against it. Keep up the good fight.

      • Greg says, ” thought it would have been fire “resistant” foam but it’s worse than that. I was not even fire resistant. Apparently UK building regs do not even require fire resistant materials. It is fine to put flammable plastic foam all over the outside of the high rise.”

        The Baby Boomers began a decades-long war on inexpensive, effective chemical fire retardants and transformer oils. Not only have the Boomers failed to even admit to themselves that their ongoing environmentalist war on fire retardants was never called off, they are surprised to learn that banning fire retardants causes much damage to property, increase of expenses, and loss of life.

      • Zeke …

        The Baby Boomers began a decades-long war on inexpensive, effective chemical fire retardants … blah, blah, blah …

        Zeke … I would appreciate it if you didn’t lump ALL ‘Baby Boomers’ together into a single entity and then blame us for all the perceived ills of the world. I can assure that I, for one, conducted no such war on fire retardants. I’m getting sick and tired of all the bigotry … WUWT is one of the few places on the internet where I can get away from it … usually. Please … cease and desist.

      • @teapartygeezer,

        I am referring to the fact that the original transformer oil that was banned by the Boomers was called PCBs.

        It is very difficult to find the dissenting scientific opinions, but I believe a strong case can be presented that the banning of PCBs resulted in a very sad and unnecessary increase in electrical fires.

        Fire retardants were also affected by the ozone/CFCs environmental scare. The Cannabis Generation may remember that episode in environmentalist ardor? And fire retardants/transformer oils receive constant over-regulation by the GHG scientific fad, and are continuing targets of ban-and-replace environmental activism (and cash-ins by foreign investors and politicians).

        There is a history to the war on transformer oils and fire retardants. Inexpensive, benign, and harmless transformer oils are necessary for everything we do because we deal with AC currents and many people live in cities. It all started with harmless PCBs.

      • Zeke …

        … banned by the Boomers …

        Way to ignore the entire meaning of my comment … which was about your bigotry, not about fire retardants. Find another scapegoat. How about narrowing it down to misinformed envirowackos … instead of every human born with a 20 year period. JACKASS.

      • Not quite teapartygeezer. Just a person who has kept an eye on the cost we all pay when people believe false scientific theories. And it is pretty high.

        I think, by your response, you now remember PCBs.

      • Zeke … I’m not arguing with anything you say … EXCEPT for who you keep blaming. You blame me, my sister, friends I went to school with, the millions of people born in the 40s, 50s, and 60s … only a few of which had anything to do with your pet peeve. Time to grow up and learn to direct your anger at more appropriate targets.

      • The reason I am committed to pointing out the horrible consequences of the myriad pet philosophies of the Boomer generation is twofold. One, because I (and society) am paying a high price personally, and two, because they still have more grand social experiments they want to carry out. With no shame, and with no acknowledgment of their own utter fallibility and destructive current results.

        Karl Popper once said that intellectual revolutionaries rarely get good results, or even the results they expected. I am here to help connect what the Counter Culture wanted with what we got. It is plain that the failure of their beloved theories and paradigms are going to go unremarked unless I say something.

        I am taking it from your response that you remember banning PCBs and CFCs? Any body? Hello?

      • Zeke … yes, I vaguely remember the hoopla re. PCBs and CFCs. It was all around the same time as the global cooling scare. But I wasn’t involved in it … I was working 60 hours a week in a grocery bag factory. The ‘coming ice age’ was all over the news and scared the crap outta me … and as I recall, PCBs were supposed to cause cancer (what doesn’t?), and CFCs caused something called the ozone hole. Other than that, I was clueless. I was born in 1945 and had nothing to do with banning any damn thing.

        Please, God, save me from self-important people who want to save the world from imaginary climate crises … and the ‘horrible consequences’ of the evil deeds someone imagines I committed.

      • The worst thing is that we’re actually paying people to feed us Bullsh_it in this climate change funding. It isn’t going to stop until we cut off the funding.

      • Roger Knights, “The replacement cladding should be asbestos”.

        As a younger person I took delight in throwing broken pieces of asbestos in open fires, It goes of with a bang. Maybe moisture in the fibres.

      • Re: Chip Javert’s Q: Is “de-cladding” an activity that monies from the USA would have been used for if the USA had been stupid enough to remain in the Paris Accord?

        Almost certainly not.

        Cladding, as Greg above points out above at 11:45am, is done to reduce human CO2 emissions (of buildings). More cladding would be the likely expenditure per the Paris Sc@m.

        See, e.g.,

        On the Optimal Selection of Wall Cladding System to Reduce Direct and Indirect CO2 Emissions

        Abstract

        Buildings have direct and indirect impacts on the CO2 emissions. This paper presents a study on the impact of wall systems and cladding materials on the CO2 emissions and aims to analyse the performance of those systems in order to provide designers with reliable technical data. The studied systems include stucco, masonry veneer, aluminium siding, vinyl siding and the exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS).

        To evaluate the economic performance, environmental performance and embodied energy, green building modelling system was used, while to estimate the impact of operational energy, a simulation model was first used and then simple bottom-up model constructed. A sensitivity analysis was conducted in order to determine the relative influence of each system on a representative educational building.

        It was found that some cladding materials reduce the direct CO2 emissions, but provide a moderate reduction in terms of operational energy, and vice versa. Others positively impact the embodied energy and environmental performance and can optimise the operational energy performance. Therefore, a careful evaluation should be carried out in selecting wall cladding systems and finishing materials in order to reduce the CO2 emissions effectively.

        (Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544209005155 )

        Thus:

        to the extent that the cladding caused the fire to be as deadly as it was,

        those people died

        because of a completely IMAGINARY problem.

        ALL of the scientists who have ever promoted AGW have blood on their hands.

      • markstoval:

        You write

        “Sorry, a rant, but I’m so pissed off with governments plastering over cracks instead of dealing with the underlying issues.”

        But that is what government does. Governments are not there to help you, they are there to control you. There is nothing so dangerous as a bureaucrat making rules and regulations for you to follow. (all in your “best interest” of course)

        Please try to think what you are saying before posting such self-contradictory nonsense.

        The government exists to “help” its electorate, and the electorate sacks the government in a General Election following the government failing to ‘help’ them. Part of that ‘help’ consists of the government deciding and enforcing appropriate building regulations. In the case of the Grenfell Tower disaster the government has failed to do that. Clearly, the failure was to not appoint and/or control appropriate bureaucrats to make rules and regulations for builders to follow.

        The Grenfell Tower disaster would not have been a government failure for which the government has to answer if the government existed to “control you” INSTEAD OF “helping you” then . Of course, the ‘help’ requires some control to ensure that regulations are fulfilled, but that is a necessary part of the ‘help’.

        It seems you are confusing government with the behaviour of criminal gangsters. In reality, the existence of such criminals is merely an example of government failure to ‘help’ its electorate by controlling the criminals. Of course,if you are in the employ of a mobster such as Al Capone then you would be right in thinking that “Governments are not there to help you, they are there to control you”. The rest of us want government to ‘help’ us by protecting us from the behaviours of libertarians such as Al Capone.

        Richard

      • Why did we get on this topic when the article is about agriculture and land use? Mods you are being too liberal to allow this diversion IMHO. But here goes—- it is more cost effective to insulate the inside of a building and cover it with coded drywall 5/8″ used in the USA for a one hour fire rating. Additionally, most heat loss in high rise buildings is through the fenestration ( glass ) not the wall, and in residential– through the roof. The next biggest heat loss is through infiltration ( crack and entry/exit ) and/or make-up air ventilation. We now manufacture glass with an R-7 insulation value which I retrofitted a rental I use to own–effective.
        My home a timber-frame, has a SIP ( structural insulated panel ) envelope walls and roof and the major addition the walls are reinforced concrete poured into Styrofoam forms which remain after the pour and then covered with epoxy stucco which cannot sustain a flame. Roof R-33 Walls R-30. My roof is SIPS —covered by a standing seam metal roof system— since I live near woods.
        And yes I spent 50 years in the energy business and was a missionary in the 80s on conservation when nobody was listening—did I say my homes have been geothermal HVAC equipped?

    • Oh geez, every business decision is a trade-off. YA THINK? Maybe that’s news to the millennials educated beyond their intelligence, who are just getting the word that chocolate milk doesn’t come from brown cows, and meat doesn’t majickally arrive at the shrink-wrapped and bar-coded state in which they buy it; but I think most of us living in the REAL WORLD figured it out a while ago.

      “Vegans” are less than 2% of the population; and most last on the diet for less than a year. I’m convinced that the widespread epidemic of STUPIDITY worldwide has lots to do with soy baby formula, no-fat milk for school-age children, “soy lattes,” etc. Flooding developing male brains with phytoestrogens may be part of why the sudden outbreak of sexual confusion, etc. as well! We are literally DE-EVOLVING for lack of the very long-chain fatty acids (only obtainable from animal sources) that enabled our brain development to differentiate from that of the great apes. Call me one of the “second-hand vegetarians!” ;-)

    • “Zeke June 16, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      I am referring to the fact that the original transformer oil that was banned by the Boomers was called PCBs.

      It is very difficult to find the dissenting scientific opinions, but I believe a strong case can be presented that the banning of PCBs resulted in a very sad and unnecessary increase in electrical fires.

      Fire retardants were also affected by the ozone/CFCs environmental scare. The Cannabis Generation may remember that episode in environmentalist ardor? And fire retardants/transformer oils receive constant over-regulation by the GHG scientific fad, and are continuing targets of ban-and-replace environmental activism (and cash-ins by foreign investors and politicians).

      There is a history to the war on transformer oils and fire retardants. Inexpensive, benign, and harmless transformer oils are necessary for everything we do because we deal with AC currents and many people live in cities. It all started with harmless PCBs.”

      How odd and so absurdly over the top wrong.

      PCBs are still significant causes of pollution and the dangerous ones are still extremely dangerous.

      From: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/public-health-toxicology/fish-consumption-advisories/shenandoah-river-basin/
      “South Fork Shenadoah River downstream from Rt. 619 bridge crossing near Front Royal to the confluence with North Fork Shenandoah River, North Fork Shenandoah River from mouth of the river upstream to Riverton Dam, and Shenandoah River from the confluence of North and South Forks to VA/WV state line. These river segments comprise ~41 miles. (5/17/89; modified, 12/13/04) Warren Co., and Clarke Co. PCBs Carp DO NOT EAT
      PCBs Channel Catfish DO NOT EAT
      PCBs Sucker Species DO NOT EAT
      PCBs Rock Bass No more
      than two meals/month
      PCBs Sunfish Species
      PCBs Smallmouth Bass
      PCBs Largemouth Bass”

      From: “The ecotoxicology of coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls”
      “Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been recognized for over 25 years as global environmental contaminants. However, many PCB congeners may be relatively harmless, while a small group of PCB congeners are highly toxic to biota. The toxic coplanar PCB congeners are chlorinated at meta positions and at one or none of the ortho positions on the biphenyl ring, thus resembling 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in molecular configuration. In vitro and in vivo toxicity tests with rodents, fish, and birds have shown that the coplanar PCB congener 126 is almost as toxic as TCDD”

      Harmless? Another true denier.

      • @ATheoK inre: Fire retardants, PCBs, CFCs, etc.

        The recent fire in London is an appropriate time to reflect on the environmentalist attack on all fire retardants, and the history of bans on fire retardants. The truth is that the European Union is in the process of disallowing fire retardants altogether:
        “New Thinking on Flame Retardants”
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2367656/

        ““Instead of adding new fire retardant chemicals that ultimately may be shown to cause health problems, we should be asking whether we need to use these chemicals or if there are other ways to achieve equivalent fire safety,” contends Arlene Blum, a biophysical chemist and visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. “So many of the chemicals we have banned in the past were flame retardants—think about asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated biphenyls, tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate, PBDEs—[and] they all ended up in the environment and in people,” she points out. “We need to think carefully about adding these sorts of chemicals to consumer products before there is adequate health information.””

        The EU has banned Bromine type biphenyls as well as Chlorine based biphenyls.

        Now I am just pointing out that given the environmentalists desire to de-industrialize Europe and the US, it may be a good time to look carefully at the consequences of banning all these useful diphenyls, and to look at the science behind that. Look at their stated motives, and look at the fires that can result. We safely handle AC currents and live in cities, and if fire retardants are banned by the EU, then these are the kinds of consequences we can expect.

        PS. I do have an answer for the supposed long-lived concentrations of PCBs, and the ways it is detected, but maybe another time. The fact that even Benzene rings themselves are being declared pollutants by the environmentalists should be a warning that all was not as you were told. Just consider my point for one moment, and that is that a war on benzene, phenols, phenyls and biphenyls would be as ridiculous and costly to society as a war on carbon dioxide. They are naturally occurring and they are everywhere.

      • “Zeke June 18, 2017 at 9:30 am

        “@ATheoK inre: Fire retardants, PCBs, CFCs, etc.”

        The recent fire in London is an appropriate time to reflect on the environmentalist attack on all fire retardants, and the history of bans on fire retardants. The truth is that the European Union is in the process of disallowing fire retardants altogether:”

        Then throw the bums out!

        Allowing fad and fashion to dictate laws is bad practice.

        I am all in favor of requiring definitive proof before any unique item can be made illegal; not the current irrational rages.

        I am reminded of the amanita mushroom family.
        Common throughout much of the world and contains some of the deadliest mushrooms known to mankind. Poisonings by certain members of this family result in 50%-80% fatality and the entire poisoning is extremely unpleasant.

        Amanitas are easily recognizable as it is the only mushroom family with white gills and white spores.
        Some descriptive names are given to truly deadly members;
        a) Destroying angel, European Amanita virosa
        b) Eastern Destroying angel, America Amanita bisporigera
        c) Western Destroying angel, America Amanita ocreata
        d) Death cap, European origin now possibly worldwide, Amanita phalloides
        e) Panther cap, Amanita pantherina

        And the famous fly agaric, Amanita muscaria which has several subspecies; none of which tend to be anywhere near as deadly and the Russian subspecies secondary poison is considered psychedelic.

        Yet existing in this family Amanita are several edible and quite choice members; e.g. Amanita caesaria
        European Union common practice should make it a crime to eat any Amanita; as only experienced experts can tell the differences between edible and deadly members.

        Amanita muscaria:

        Ceasar’s Amanita, Amanita caesarea: Edible (highly prized in Europe)
        “Found in northern Africa and southern Europe. In North America it is found in Arizona and New Mexico as well as in Mexico and Central America. There are a few very closely related species found in the eastern United States (The American Ceasar’s Mushroom, Amanita jacksonii is a common one)”

        I agree with the notion that banning useful products on hearsay and innuendo is extremely wrong.
        I do not agree that lumping entire categories as evil, bad or beneficial in toto.

        Well, maybe except for ban all the lawyers and politicians.

  3. I’ll believe we’re running short on food and land for consumption crops once I see:
    – The US Government stops paying farmers to let land go fallow
    – Homes have to be displaced to make room for consumption based crops
    – Yields per acre taper off
    – GM crops grow in the Red Desert of Wyoming or other similarly harsh environment

    Just because cows eat grass, doesn’t mean that particular area is suitable for a vegetable or other food based crop.

    • Heck, with removing houses, what about everyone having a vegetable garden in the back yard?
      Heck even apartment dwellers could replace the flower box with a vegetable box.

      We are very far from running out of land to grow stuff in.

      • There is plenty of available land in the US to grow stuff in/on, but there might be a shortage of water in a few locales, ……. whereas the dire fact is that we are quickly running out of competent citizens that are capable of planting and caring for a “growing” food source, be it in a flower box, a flower bed, a vacant lot or an often used garden spot. And “wacky tabacca” is not considered a “food source”. And hiring an “illegal immigrant” to grow it for you doesn’t count either.

      • @Samuel C Cogar Actually the cousin to “Wacky Tabacca”, hemp, creates seeds which are quite nutritious. It’s too bad our government doesn’t seem to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. There are significant benefits to growing industrial hemp beyond just the nutritional value of hemp seeds.

        Hemp seed is 33% protein
        Hemp seed is 35% essential fatty acid
        (Omega 3, 6, 9 and GLA)
        Contains all 9 essential amino acids
        Contains 6.2 x more Omega-3 than raw tuna
        Contains an abundant source of GLA
        Rich in trace minerals
        High in dietary fiber

        http://www.purehealingfoods.com/hempHeartsAnalysis.php

      • jgriggs3 June 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm

        You are so right about hemp. Thank you for your post, more people should learn the truth especially our old fart elected officials who have outdated, incorrect information about hemp. Hemp is also easy to grow, needs less amounts of water and no insecticides. It is much better to use it as ethanol fuel due to its low moisture content. Florida is considering hemp as a cash crop since conditions here are excellent for growing hemp.

      • After evaluating hemp food consumption for any incriminating levels of THC in workplace drug screenings in Canada, the levels appear to be sufficiently low enough to prevent confirmed positives from the extended and extensive consumption of hemp foods.

      • 40% of the USA grain crop is turned into biofuel to run automobiles on. A similar thing is happening in Europe, but I don’t have the statistics. Whatever, this does not indicate any shortage of land to grow food. It’s just another symptom of the green insanity that has overtaken the world. There is no shortage of petroleum, and this biofuel probably produces more CO2 than it saves due to the energy required to make it. It entails a lot of boiling of liquids. The end product costs twice as much, and shortens the life of IC engines.

      • i read that cali that ultragreentard state has now banned anyone growing a vegie garden if they werent already doing so prior to the new regs enacting banning them

        anyone got confirmation?

      • Yeah, but – even with land, not everyone can successfully grow edible stuff. When we moved from a flat to a house, I reserved a corner of the garden for a vegetable plot. The local wildlife must have said “Goodie! Free food!” and the only time I had ANY success was when I liberally sprayed bushes and netted the salad stuff. That, of course, meant that ‘garden fresh’ veggies ended up costing 2-3 times as much as supermarket. This, of course, is why civilisations now have commercial farmers, rather than lots of peasants.

    • RHS
      Our Red Desert environment much more hospitable than any large city. See how much food you can grow in those concrete jungles. Plus, other than a few mountain lions and rattlesnakes, the inhabitants are much more hospitable as well (excluding a few mother cows who might take you if you get too close to their calves).

      • I should have stated something to the effect of more hospitable to a vegetable crop. Personally I’ve seen lots of signs of life in the Red Desert. There are tons of grass eating critters and critters which eat the grass eaters. Between being a high desert plateau, minimal rain fall, even the sage brush seldomly grows to more than a couple of feet high because of the constant wind.
        I can’t imagine the irrigation supply which would have to be run or the wind breaks needed to get some asparagus or raspberries to grow there.

    • RHS

      I’ll take issue on one of your points:

      The US Government stops paying farmers to let land go fallow”

      “Fallow land is left to rest for a good purpose, to allow it to recover from the last crop it produced. I believe it’s no barely necessary with modern fertilizers.

      I think what you’re referring to is abandoned land. And that’s a crime.

      • Or maybe he means “conservation land” which is left fallow. However, ethanol kind of did that in—planting virgin prairie in corn paid more than the government did to leave it be. I would imagine the 5000+ wind turbines in Iowa used some of it up also. Not sure about other states, but putting in a 5 figure rental turbine has to be more lucrative than farming or conservation. Worked in Wyoming, too. Complete landscape changes for energy from weather, but don’t you dare raise a cow.

      • Sheri,

        There is a scandal in Northern Ireland right now where millions of £UK taxpayer money was wasted on an ‘environmental’ scheme that encouraged people to buy wood pellets and burn them as fuel.

        The problem is, it was so badly thought through that people were shovelling wood pellets into furnaces to heat empty buildings and even barns. The more they burned, the more they earned.

        It is a complete political, financial and social disaster, promoted by (guess who?) the utterly incompetent, meddling, green blob.

      • John in NZ

        It’s well known here, and vociferously objected to. Invariable it’s the wealthy industrial farmers who benefit from the practise, not smaller farmers who suffer because f it.

      • modern weedliller/chem farming allows continou use
        wether thats wise or not is a moot point, fallowing to me is wise thing resting the soils biota
        as for the chap above and his support of PCB use?
        well finding it IN babies blood and pest etc seems to suggest safer products should be used
        Boron seems to be one of the better ones for many purposes
        why the hell they “insulate” exteriors”?? nsulate inner walls n cielings by all means
        glass fibre or other stuff, annoyingly itchy but it works

      • ozspeaksup

        The alternative to commercial fertilisers and pesticides are frequently “organic” pesticides. They are, I understand, largely untested, at least as toxic to humans as regulated commercial alternatives, and entirely unregulated.

        Modern commercial pesticides are well researched and targeted at specific pests. Not perfect of course, but better tha primitive alternatives.

        Neonaticides, for example, contrary to popular opinion, do little harm to bee’s as the pesticide itself resides in the plant and inconsequential amounts are transferred to pollen or nectar. Bee’s/butterfly’s/humming birds etc. etc. don’t eat plants.

        Sprayed insecticides, organic or otherwise, are indiscriminate and kill everything in their path. They also contaminate other environments as wind-borne pollution, including human and animal.

    • If you’re worried about how much grass a cow eats, you’ll really be upset about elephants. Are we going to get rid of them, too?

  4. Here is a novel idea. Trust in the invisible hand of the free market. It works pretty good to match supply and demand, to meet people’s desires and needs, and best of all it doesn’t require self-appointed elitists at the Univeristy of Minnesota.

    • But, but, but, … you aren’t icnluding the true cost of the food in the prices charged at the supermarket – what about the cost of Carbon?

    • That’s right, Marty. We live in a world that asks us to believe that farmers don’t know how to farm, ranchers do not know how to ranch, and eaters don’t know how to eat. Who knows these things? University professors and Washington bureaucrats. .

      A good farmer in Missouri would make no assumptions that he would be just as good growing Oranges in Florida or avocados in California. Yet bureaucrats and professors act like they know everything about everything when making proclamations about how things should be done. In reality, their pronouncements are worthless at the very best. Usually, they do far more harm than good. The free market is millions of people making millions of decisions based on the latest and most detailed information. No centralized authority or ivory tower can come close to competing with the wisdom, efficiency and flexibility of the free market.

      Finally, much of the report seems to be a reaction to the threat of global warming, which is not a threat at all. If we reverse the assumption that CO2 is bad into the more reasonable assumption that CO2 is good for the biosphere, this report would be totally different. It would probably go something like this: “Conclusion: Food producers appear to know what they are doing and appear to have the wisdom and ability to feed the planet for countless generations to come. We cannot help but conclude that our work is superfluous, but we will need additional funding to determine if we are COMPLETELY useless!”

      • jclarke341

        Politics. The eternal growth industry, irrespective of the prevailing economic or social conditions.

        We need less of these buggers

      • “That’s right, Marty. We live in a world that asks us to believe that farmers don’t know how to farm, ranchers do not know how to ranch, and eaters don’t know how to eat”

        100% on point. Energy experts aren’t the ones to dictate our energy infrastructure, Al Gore and Michael Moore are considered qualified to make those judgements. Anyone with advanced Earth Science degrees that work in the private sector, and got those jobs by outcompeting their government counterparts, is simply a shill that knows nothing, only government employees are authorities in science.

        I mean what could go wrong by discrediting anyone in the private sector and handing ALL the decision making to bureaucrats? It’s not like they would release billions of gallons of acidic water into Rocky Mountain watersheds or improperly treat residential drinking supplies and subject thousands of people to high levels of lead, right?

      • Jclark..
        Excellent point , we know how the Communist bureaucrats starved their people with centralized control. It’s clear that the Democrats won’t stop with energy if they win this battle, this article proves there is no satisfying power hungry politicians with their university buddies who never worked a day in their life who think they know everythng with Their computer models

      • No, not “just like …. building products.”

        The envirostalinist REGULATIONS are responsible for the homicidal exterior covering materials. In a free housing market, if there is one in the UK, buyers will now refuse to purchase such horrible housing and NON-dangerously-clad rental units will be in demand. Thus, a free market will result in SAFE housing.

      • ozonebust

        The free market exists on trust and reputation. It’s government legislation and law making that invariably causes the problems.

        A ‘Limited Company’ is a legal entity by which directors are absolved of all personal responsibility of a company’s behaviour, assuming they have acted ‘legally’. The contractors who installed the cladding on Grenfall Towers went bust. The owner of that company has since set up another cladding company. Not that I believe any of this was his fault, he simply followed instructions from ‘experts’ to clad a building in an energy efficient material.

        However, the status of a Limited Company is a legal entity, recognised and accepted, if not promoted by government.

        So, set up a Limited Company, draw a huge salary from the work undertaken, in the full knowledge that salary is never at risk, then liquidate the company and throw people into unemployment when things get tough.

        Government sponsored racketeering. But most certainly not responsible business practise the vast majority of businessmen conduct.

      • The Grenfell disaster will require considerable time to conduct a forensic investigation. The UK has extensive building codes and regulations similar to the US and other developed countries. There have been reports that no fire alarms sounded. One report said residents were advised to stay in place. Was the building sprinklered?

        The cladding system should have been extensively tested for fire and flame spread resistance. Such testing would include verifying the effectiveness of fire stopping to limit the spread of fire within the wall. It certainly appears that there were multiple failures of systems that should have prevented this disaster. In most cases such failures can be traced back to poor workmanship, corruption and failure to exercise proper oversight and quality control. There will likely be no shortage of people and companies to blame.

      • HotScot — that is despicable.

        Just FYI, in the U.S., in a closely held corporation, the directors/officers CAN and will be held personally liable under a “Piercing the Corporate Veil” or “Disregard of the Corporate Entity” common law cause of action. They are, if they are deemed to have enough control, deemed to be the “alter ego” of the corporation and it is fairly easy to sue them. Whether they have enough assets to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees and award of damages is another question…..

      • It is difficult to accept that even mildly knowledgable contractors were not aware they were vastly increasing the risk profile of buildings by installing what some/most surely knew were fire hazards (somebody had to have thrown some of this material into a construction-site fire pit and watched what happened).

        This is primary reason why big government is bad: even though many people undoubtedly knew this was risky, no one cared enough to correct the rule. And people die.

        …and a year from now, nobody will have been punished.

      • Rick C PE

        Even had the sprinklers been working, and one assumes they would have been, they would be totally ineffective as the flames seem to have spread up the outside of the building where there are no sprinklers.

        The cladding would have undoubtedly conformed to fire regulations, but no one seems to have considered the chimney effect. From first hand witness accounts, there was a small fire which, when the wind changed direction, escalated within seconds into an inferno.

        My simplistic thoughts are that the difference in air pressure between the ground floor and the top floor would only take a slight breeze to create an updraught between the cladding and the original walls thereby encouraging the flames to follow the path of least resistance up the side of the building.

        Will heads roll? Perhaps one or two scapegoats, but no one of consequence.

      • Janice,

        “HotScot — that is despicable.”

        It is, however, from what you have described of your system, little better. Having to sue someone to recover money is just a lawyers paradise.

        However, it is an impossible problem to address now. Too many investors exist as Directors in company’s across the planet. Their financial investment is predicated on immunity from prosecution should it all go belly up. The blame is shifted.

      • HotScot: Neither you nor I know the details of how the cladding system was designed, installed or whether it complied with code. Engineers, designers and code officials are typically well aware of fire safety issues including the chimney effect. That’s what “fire stopping” is all about. It is typically a non-combustible insulating material (e.g. mineral wool) installed continuously at each floor level. In fact a great deal of building code content is specific to fire safety.

        Sprinklers, if they were present and functional, would have likely prevented a great deal of the burning of the building interior and may well have kept the interior and escape routes tenable for evacuation. We can speculate all we want about this tragedy, but we will not know the facts until some real experts (fire safety and forensic engineers) are able to complete a proper investigation.

      • @Rick C PE:
        90% of the blame can be laid on the cladding; better alarms & a sprinkler system would have saved more lives, maybe half the lives, but the building would still have been lost. Cluttered hallways and an iffy electrical system didn’t worsen things.

        The cladding system should have been extensively tested for fire and flame spread resistance.

        My strong suspition is that the type of foam used was well known to be flammable. One expert Casandra was shouting about it for years. See https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/14/disaster-waiting-to-happen-fire-expert-slams-uk-tower-blocks

        Dr Jim Glocking, technical director of the Fire Protection Association (FPA), thinks our standards need a fundamental overhaul. He says he has been campaigning for years to see fire safety standards improved, to no avail.

        “We have been very concerned about the introduction of highly combustible products into buildings,” he says. “They are often being introduced on the back of the sustainability agenda, but it’s sometimes being done recklessly without due consideration to the consequences. It’s not uncommon for buildings to have blocks of polystyrene up to 30cm deep on the outside, which is an extraordinary quantity of combustible material to be sticking on to a building. There are often ventilation voids between the rainscreen cladding and the insulation to prevent damp, but this also increases the spread of flames.”

        He says UK fire regulations are unique in focusing on simply evacuating people before the building falls down, but not on properly tackling the ingress of fire from outside.

        See also:

        Greg June 16, 2017 at 11:45 am
        Agreed, this is more lifestyle moralising dressed up a science.

        “Cladding for Grenfell Tower was cheaper, more flammable option”
        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/16/manufacturer-of-cladding-on-grenfell-tower-identified-as-omnis-exteriors

        As I said as soon as I saw the sheets of flame licking up the side of that building the main cause of the disaster was the external thermal insulation, installed in 2016. I thought it would have been fire “resistant” foam but it’s worse than that. I was not even fire resistant.

        Apparently UK building regs do not even require fire resistant materials. It is fine to put flammable plastic foam all over the outside of the high rise.

        I emailed the Guardian suggesting that they look into it and it appears that they did.

        The AGW madness is now killing people. The “carbon footprints” are now those of the families tragically burned alive in a pathetic attempt to reduce “carbon emissions”. Well kudos UK govt. , how much “carbon” did you save with this one.

      • There has been fire-resistant polystyrene for a long time==> I read a construction materials catalog back in the 1980’s by a supplier cautioning that one line was to be used for flotation only as it was not treated to be fire resistant.

      • @Roger Knights
        I would think folks here would be a bit cautious about accepting statements from “experts” or articles in the Guardian as fact.

        There are four primary types of foam plastic used as insulation board – polystyrene, polyisourethane, ployisocyanurate and phenolic. These vary substantially in their reaction to fire. Some may also contain fire resistant additives. The information I have says that foam used in exterior insulation systems in the UK must achieve a class “O” rating per BS 476 to be used in buildings over 18 meters tall. In many cases use as exterior cladding requires that the foam be fully covered on both surfaces with non-combustible material – eg applied to concrete and covered with cement or gypsum board. If the foam in this case was exposed in a cavity with no covering or firestops I would suspect someone was truly negligent. If a Class O foam was specified and another foam was substituted someone should go to prison.

  5. Everything man does is bad for man. People are the universal problem. We’ve managed to increase our lifespan to the detriment of ourselves. When will we ever learn.

    • On the other hand, look at it this way.

      At the very moment in our planet’s history when falling CO2 from naturally, but accidentally sequestered CO2 represented a threat to all life on our planet, mankind happened along and accidentally discovered how to liberate CO2 back into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.

      I don’t know about you, but I find that the most extraordinary, fortuitous coincidence. In fact were I religious, I would proclaim it a miracle of divine intervention.

      • I have a suspicion that other habitable worlds in the galaxy have failed to reach the point of CO2 liberation before the sequestering process lowered the CO2 to less than the critical level essential for life. That is why there is no evidence of any other life beyond this third rock.

      • ” I would proclaim it a miracle of divine intervention.”

        I have mentioned this before.

        IF you are a believer in God almighty, then you must believe that he sequestered all that coal for the benefit of mankind. Not only does it benefit mankind to use COAL, but it also provide the natural CO2 that is required for ALL LIFE ON EARTH.

        It is an absolute SIN , NOT to use what the Lord has provided for us. :-)

      • On the other hand, perhaps God intended to deprive mankind of the source of life, he sequestered CO2 deliberately and somehow, man prevailed and found fire.

        Perhaps there is a divine retribution for murdering his son that mankind is somehow winning? Maybe that’s why the four horsemen of the apocalypse appear daily: “They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine, plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:7-8).

        At this point I will say I looked that up, I’m not religious nor academic. But there are coincidences that could be considered striking, to me at least.

      • Tom in Florida

        with the greatest of respect, yours is a suspicion, mankind’s coincidental occupation of the planet is an evident fact. Except of course, that we might be living in a parallel universe, in which case are we actually here at at all?

        And I’ll stop here before the conversation gets too weird.

  6. “Larger dietary shifts, such as global adoption of low-meat or vegetarian diets, would offer even larger benefits to environmental sustainability and human health.”

    They give themselves away with the above statement and appear to be green-misanthropes. Humans are omnivores and it was the advent of both eating meat and cooked food that have had significant benefits to our species. I enjoy my life at the top of the food chain.

    • Re: “human health”

      Bringing up children as vegans is unethical, claims nutritionist.

      Meat is a vital part of a child’s diet, according to a two-year study of Kenyan schoolkids.

      …. Children in the meat-supplemented group showed up to an 80% greater increase in upper-arm muscle compared with the non-supplemented children; for milk drinkers, this figure was 40% ….

      Meat and other animal products such as milk contain nutrients that it is difficult to get elsewhere, {Lindsay} Allen told the meeting. She pointed out that Kenyans’ diet often consists mainly of starchy, low-nutrition corn and beans that lack sufficient iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins A, E and B12.

      {“}Parents who find the idea of eating animals abhorrent might have some tough choices to make,{“} she added. “There’s absolutely no question that it’s unethical for parents to bring up their children as strict vegans,” she said. ….

      (Source: http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050221/full/news050221-5.html )

      • Janice,

        Is it any wonder that the veggie munching greens display such extraordinary low intellect?

      • That is a good point, Mr. Scot. Lol, the cause-effect order is debatable, though…. :)

      • Janice:

        This is a bit off-topic but is a very recent anecdote concerning “human health” that I think may amuse you.

        Yesterday I was informed that the my heart, lung and liver problems may all lose their competition because I now also have malignant prostate cancer. I thought my son, Matthew, was entitled to know this news so yesterday evening I ‘phoned him to tell him.

        Upon hearing my news, Matthew replied, “Prostate cancer? That’s a pain in the a$$”.

        His superb response gave me the laugh I much needed to cheer me up.

        Richard

        [From us, from our readers, you have our thoughts and prayers. .mod]

      • Dear Richard,

        First, I am so glad that you were able to laugh at your son’s clever quip. What a gallant fellow you are.

        Next, I am so sorry. I don’t know much about that cancer (the man I was married to had a successful prostectomy — DO NOT DO RADIATION — but, his was benign, so, a different situation). There was no bad side effect from that surgery, just a bit of discomfort during a few weeks of recovery. If I’m not mistaken, prostate cancer is very slow growing and most men who get it will die of old age/live out their normal life span. The key, of course, is whether it is Stage 1 – 4. I sure hope yours is less than 4…. If not — even so, God has this — and you, in the palm of his hand.

        What a great attitude you have. “My P.S.A. is through the roof, but, at least I’m no longer nearly as concerned about my lung, heart, and liver problems!”

        No, that really isn’t funny, but, your noble, chin-up, attitude deserves the honour of applauding it — even though in a sort of backdoor way.

        And tomorrow is Father’s Day…..

        I already gave you a “card” (and thank you for the acknowledgement in the thread below it). But, here’s one more to say:

        Get well. Don’t give up. GOOD THINGS ARE AHEAD. You’ll ride out this rough patch…. and even if not, that only means the beginning of real life. As C. S. Lewis put it:

        The term is over, the holidays have begun;
        The dream is ended, this is the morning.

        (Aslan at the end of The Last Battle)

        And you are not going through this alone: Jesus is with you. Every — step — of — the — way.

        I Will Be With You

        Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners

        Never will I leave you;
        never will I forsake you.

        Hebrews 13:5.

        Finally, Happy Father’s Day, once again, to a dad who gave his son the best gift of all: knowing that he was (and is) loved.

        With caring concern and many prayers,

        Janice

        Underneath are the everlasting arms.

  7. Most of the “benefits” of a vegan diet on the environment depend on the purported malign effect of ruminant flatulence. What, pray tell, about the methane emissions from rice paddies? As changes in GHG levels seem to be very weakly related to climate, so are the “benefits”.

  8. Given the benign:

    impacts they studied

    1.

    land use

    2.

    {GHG’s} {(} greenhouse gas emissions{)}

    3.

    fossil fuel energy use

    4.

    eutrophication (nutrient runoff) and acidification potential

    Their conclusion:

    It’s essential we take action through policy and education to increase public adoption of low-impact and healthy foods, as well the adoption of low impact, high efficiency agricultural production systems.

    is a nullity.

    **************************

    And how many organic joints did they smoke to come up with THIS fluff:

    A lack of action would result in …. a rapid rise in the prevalence of diet-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

    ??

    Seriously, I get that these guys want funding from the enviroprofiteers/stalinists and get a great blessing from being seen as holy by the Church of Sustainability, but…….

    don’t they care at all about what their scientist colleagues (the ones not part of the cult, and that is most of them) think of them??

    • Really? Their study states that meat causes diabetes? Huh, guess I’ll have to switch to snacking on processed sugars instead of meat to prevent it. I’m glad their study brought this to my attention. If I can’t get processed candy, I’ll just much on the vegan friendly sugar cane instead. Then I can get my fiber as well.
      Note, all sarcasm is intended for the authors of the study and not those who help me draw the conclusions I want see.

  9. “Although high agricultural efficiency consistently correlated with lower environmental impacts,”

    God bless them ….they discovered the free market

      • Free market = competition.

        Competition = prices lower.

        Prices lower = be efficient in cost of production or be out of business.

        Did I really need to explain that to you, ozone?

      • Or cater to niche markets that are willing to pay higher prices for what you offer. Sometimes the “inefficient” way a product was made is a selling point to the right customer.

  10. A cow eating grass is is no different philosophically than using biomass for fuel. It is GHG neutral according to the Gang green for the latter. Cow eats grass, new growth takes up atmospheric ‘carbon’ and the regrowth is almost instantaneous, far quicker, than the cutting of Carolina hardwoods for the UK’s DraX power. Moreover the beef sequesters most of the carbon and
    passes this on to humans who continue sequestering some of it. The sum total of the farts’ carbon is less than that taken up by new growth.

    In the case of the vegetarian (all the lies made up by “progressives” notwithstanding), they emit the same gases as the cows from the vegetables they eat. It was a well known downside to being a vegetarian until fake news came along.

    Finally, beef is raised on lower quality growing land than for vegetables so is more ‘sustainable’.

    • Cows also take themselves to water. No need for canals or underground piping to supply water. Therefore, less pressure on other natural resources.

    • Most beef stock in the USA is fed on corn. That is a problem. The volume of beef recall because of bacteria is significant. Do some research into the USA beef industry, it may influence your decision on eating beef etc again.

      • Nope. Almost all beef cattle are grass/alfafa fed (ranched) until the last 6 months, then shipped to and fattened in feedlots with a cooked corn/alfalfa mix prior to slaughter. Pork is mostly corn fed.

      • I asked an Alberta rancher why western beef was so good and eastern beef so poor. He said tell them farmers to finish beef with oats. Corn is used because its cheap and available in the east (east is east of the Prairie provinces) but it makes lousy beef. He said most eastern beef is dairy beef, but it could benefit from oats

      • Gary, that is mostly correct. Even in Wisconsin, most of the slab beef is dairy steers, and most of the ground beef is from milking cows passed their useful milking life. Usually Guernsies (black and white). Its not so much finishing with oats, its true that western beef cattle are different breeds like Angus or Hereford mostly grass fed (ranched) for the first 2- 2.5 years.
        Have never heard of a US feedlot fattening on oats. We grow oats as the firstnyear alfalfa cover crop. Sold mostly for horse feed at the local feed mill. Did some quick research. Canadian Journal of Animal Science published a 2009 study by Gibb et. al. where corn, wheat, barley, and oats were separately tested as finishing beef diet. Oats was least good. More feeding yet less weight gain. Too much roughage, not enough complex carbohydrate.

      • ristvan, re oats for finishing: I’m in my 80th year and the rancher whom I talked to was maybe a decade and a half older and may well be long gone. I understand you have a dairy farm so are more up-to-date than he was so I’ll defer to you on finishing.

        I had 6 kids so I took up mixed farming in eastern Ontario with one Holstein, 50-60 sheep 300 chickens, 100 NZ rabbits, bought a dozen feeder piglets (I know what a pig in a poke looks like because l brought them home in grain sacks) +ducks, geese a wide selection of vegetables and I grew corn for the pigs and birds. I cut all my hay but bought oats mainly for the sheep in winter. Artificial insemination for the cow and sold the yearling calf.

        We baked and sold ~100 loaves of bread a week and in spring we collected sap and boiled down ~50gallons of maple syrup and about the same number of lbs of maple sugar. I had been a city slicker before, but came from (free-land late nineteenth century) homesteaders so not exactly a novice.

      • Ristvan – “Usually Guernsies (black and white).” No, minor point here, it’s Guernseys, and they are a light brown color, while Holstein cows are black and white.

      • I suspect feed stock varies a lot by region.

        I live in central Alberta –> Supplemental feed – Oats – our extended family stopped feeding much oats decades ago. Went to barley. (Well some still feed some rolled oats but mostly rolled barley.) Barley has slightly more protein though each is digested differently. I haven’t fed oats to my performance horses as a supplemental feed for 20+ years, except when I want them to be a little “hotter” than normal – something about the enzymes in oats with some horses. Barely, beet pulp, minerals, vitamins as needed. (Studies have shown that feeding straight oats [to horses] is a waste as a lot comes out the other end looking much the same as when it went in.)

        Scientifically for cows, probably not much difference between corn, oats and barley and feed choice would most likely be based on local prices.

        Most of the cows/steers around my area are primarily grass fed right up to shipping time. Calves get supplemental feed. Again, feed and animal price dependent as well as time of year – with regional and personal preferences.

        http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/beef11489

        http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/beef11490

      • Wayne, horses used for dray, delivering milk, bread and ice in the city (yeah, I go back that far! ) got oats when working and just hay /grass when not. It made their urine fairly brown if they got too much but it was thought they needed it for work. This might be a symptom of a negative reaction to oats but these horses did last a pretty full lifetime.

        I grew up about 5 blocks from the old Winnipeg flat races racetrack in Winnipeg and as a kid, used to get 25cents per sack of fresh cut Prairie grass for the race horses. The trainers said the fresh grass gave the horses a better performance the following day. You had to stuff the sack because these guys would dock you for a light measure (estimated by hand). The junk dealer who used to ply the back lanes of the residential ares also used to use a horse drawn wagon. These horses were pretty rundown looking.

      • ristvan June 16, 2017 at 2:07 pm
        RE:Usually Guernsies (black and white).

        Rud,
        An old Wisconsin farm boy here. A minor quibble… Guernsies are brown and white. Holsteins are black and white. Holsteins are the predominant milk cow in Wisconsin because of their high volume milk production per cow. In my experience though, Jerseys have the highest butter fat and sweetest milk. ‘Top rise’ clotted Jersey cream (almost butter) on a hot baked potato – approaches Heaven!

        Thanks for your inputs here, especially the legal aspects – Truly appreciated!
        Mac

  11. ” Instead, they suggest that combining the benefits of different production systems, for example organic’s reduced reliance on chemicals with the high yields of conventional systems, would result in a more sustainable agricultural system.”

    I’m not sure they understand what leads to the higher yields. Those “chemicals” that the people who promote organic are always railing against are typically what cause the higher yields. If they could get the same yields without spending money on the chemicals they would.

      • Everyone is a simple combination of natures atoms
        Some are autotoxic
        Some are toxic in concentration
        Many are very benign
        and
        Much is toxic in high enough concentrations
        But all is essential to life

        Like Warfarin
        Used in very small doses to thin the blood and prevent cloting
        AND
        Used in much larger doses to Kill Rats (Rat Poison)

      • Beats me, but I get told all the time how there are chemicals in my proceeded food and how I should avoid them because of that. I simply reply that there are chemicals in everything, since matter is either elemental or chemical. Since we are a composite, we are chemicals. Now if you have a problem with a specific chemical, I want to know which one and why. Is there VX in my processed food? If so I would like to know, because that may affect my decision to eat it. Are those chemicals sodium chloride, dihydrogen monoxide or MSG? Then I probably do not care.

      • ozone. Perhaps, you are a very slow typist and missed lucusloc’s comment just above yours. Do your brain a favor and read it.

      • FWIW
        In the book “Stalin’s Last Crime” (The Doctor’s Plot), Jonathan Brent and Vladimer Naumov, the authors make the case that Stalin was getting ready to re-create the Terror of the 30’s, exterminate all the Jews remaining in Europe, and start WW 3. The reason that the Russians boycotted the UN vote on the Korean War, was to get the non-Communist nations embroiled in a land war in Asia, while the Soviet Army took all of Europe, including the Iberian and Italian peninsulas.

        Anyway, the author speculates on Stalin’s death. The symptoms of blood in the urine and hemorrhaging in the stomach indicates Warfarin. Khrushchev and Beria (Head of the KGB) were there and would have done the deed. There would be a certain karma if Stalin had been fed rat poison.

        By the way, “Stalin’s Last Crime” is an interesting but somewhat difficult book to read. The Doctor’s Plot was so convoluted with so many little bits, it is hard to keep straight. But, it very well does illustrate “Byzantine”.

    • ozonebust

      I suspect it’s contrary to your perception, but organic farmers use pesticides.

      They justify their use by proclaiming they are natural however, they are also uncontrolled.

      It is my understanding that you are far more likely to ingest higher levels of chemicals from commercially produced organic foodstuffs than from food treated with modern, controlled chemicals.

      • Best option is a backyard greenhouse…that way you know exactly how much DDT or Malathion has been used

      • We make the choice. Go to work and earn money to provide for our family and trust others for our nutritional needs, as they trust us for their commercial needs, or stay at home and farm for an existence.

        Neither is wrong, just a matter of personal preference.

      • Seems like surveys, data censoring & adjustments, and citation of previous studies they agree with along with a few computer models and you can produce any desired scientific finding (that’s too kind, not scientific finding but predetermined desired outcomes).

      • certified organic growers ARE highly controlled as to what they use/when/and how much.
        coppersulphate/Bt/ vinegar for weedkilling, theres some newer products using orangeoil and pine oils for small stage weed control
        none of which are toxic to soil biota either.
        i grow organically, and use little or no bugkillers bar rotenone in extremis, odd times some copper. for fungals n moulds. chickens do the best weeding n bugkilling for me.

      • Forgive me for being somewhat sceptical, but your use of pest control chickens hardly scales up to commercial farming. Are you a commercial farmer?

        If not, perhaps you don’t have the clout of commercial organic farmers to dictate their use of organic chemicals to the authorities.

  12. ““Although high agricultural efficiency consistently correlated with lower environmental impacts, …”.

    So mechanized farming, with the use of many chemicals, has lower environmental impacts? Well done, now apologize to your constituency for such heresy.

    “While organic systems used less energy, they had higher land use, did not offer benefits in GHGs, and tended to have higher eutrophication and acidification potential per unit of food produced.”

    Oh-oh – growing organic food cause more GHG release! And more damage to the water supplies! Again, apologize to your constituency for uttering such heresy.

  13. Recently seen on a T-Shirt in a pizza joint:

    I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables

    Part of the clawing has included advances in technology which have increased yield as well as productivity, something the authors seem to have neglected…

  14. ““A lack of action would result in massive increases in agriculture’s environmental impacts including the clearing of 200 to 1000 million hectares of land for agricultural use, an approximately three-fold increase in fertilizer and pesticide applications, an 80 per cent increase in agricultural GHG emissions and a rapid rise in the prevalence of diet-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes.”

    Lots of things wrong here. First, get rid of all the horribly wasteful, stupid, biofuels programs and lots of arable land will be freed up for agriculture. 40% of the US corn crop goes to ethanol production, for no real reason.

    In the real world, the applications of pesticides has been refined in technique and the amounts being used are going down. Fertilizers are a must as you have to add back nutrients removed by the plants but that too can be managed so as not to use too much.

    As GHGs do not exist and no gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can warm the climate, concerns about GHG emissions are meaningless, except for the fact that more CO2 means more plant growth and more food.

    Meat-eating has nothing to do with obesity and diabetes. It is the starches we eat all year round that are the problem. We never evolved eating so much grains and starches. We evolved like bears, eating sugars and starches mainly in late Summer and Fall, as we bulked up for the long winter. The high concentrations of glucose from starches kicks in our natural, preferred conversion of glucose to fat and high glucose concentrations also lead to diabetes. We are 95% carnivore and need more meat and fat, not less.

    The whole carbo-loading craze years ago in sports was about as stupid as you can get. All the pasta snarfed down the night before a big game was converted to fat within hours after it was eaten and all the players were fatter the next day. Wow. A psychological boost, maybe, but nothing real.

    • higley7,

      I would only add to your comment that the primitive peoples eat the whole animal. If anything was given to the dogs it was the muscle meat we now eat only — they would eat the organ meats.

      Mother always said I should eat more liver.

    • Higley7, a gentle correction. True that ~40% of the US corn crop goes to ethanol. But that is gross, not net. The actual net number is 13% by weight, since after ethanol production the resulting 27% distillers grain is an ideal protein enhanced ruminant feed. On my dairy farm, we now sell all the corn to ethanl production then buy back the distillers grain as supplemntal dairy feed. Means we need to grow less alfalfa feed and can grow more corn. Crop rotation stays the same, but the contour mix changes.

  15. Vision is clouded when one is peeking out through one’s glass bellybutton which I suspect is the case with these “researchers” but it is, indeed, the only way to see when one’s head is firmly stuffed up one’s fundament.

  16. Notice the unmentioned assumption : that fossil fuels and emissionsfor all other uses (which is by far the MOST) will remain the same. Ain’y gonna happen, fella.These guys never heard of electric cars or nuclear power, apparently.

  17. So what he is saying is we need to outlaw organic farms to save the planet. That should make some green heads explode.

  18. for example organic’s reduced reliance on chemicals with the high yields of conventional systems

    Yes, let’s take out the thing that results in high yields, but still plan on high yields. If this worked, I could get better fuel economy by sinply putting less gas in my car but driving the same distance.

    The stupid, it burns.

    • Lets analyse the photo shall we……….

      Styrofoam made from oil, could this not be on a reusable plate.
      None reusable plastic water container, made from oil, transported from who knows where.
      Plastic, none reusable condiment containers, made from oil (probably in China)
      Plastic fork, made from, you guessed it, oil (probably in China)
      Non-reusable disposable napkins, bleached white.
      Nice rack of none sustainable pork of beef (or both).
      Most likely cooked over gas stoves or deep fryers.

      But You, one of the plebs, must eat bugs to be environmentally friendly.

      • Best Bar-b-que joints I know serve it up on butcher paper–need a utensil, pull out your knife.
        Personally, I really enjoy vegetables–the ones I harvest from my garden, and the fruit off of my trees. Also really enjoy the goat raised out on the pasture. All just recycled matter and energy.

      • JVC, are you from Texas? Sounds like any one of the old style BBQ joints here in the heart of Texas. My personal favorite is City Market in Luling ( http://www.lulingcitymarket.com/ ). But that is a ways from the north side of Austin. Closer to home, another traditional place is Louis Mueller’s in Taylor Texas. (https://www.louiemuellerbarbecue.com/ ) A note for you auslanders: REAL Texas BBQ is dry rubbed and smoked beef brisket. Texas BBX sauce is a thin vinegary sauce. (The Love of My Life sneaks a bottle of sticky sweet BBQ sauce into those places. I am so embarrassed, but she is from California.)

        Most places also have different sausages, pork ribs, “pulled pork”, chicken and or turkey. My favorite are the beef ribs from the County Line in Austin or the Salt Lick in Dripping Springs/Round Rock. But the best beef ribs are the ones from Big Cat here in Cedar Park. ( https://www.facebook.com/BigCatBbq )

        Hey guys. BBQ is a Texas thing. You may not understand.

      • Jon–yes I am from Texas–lived in and around Austin (Liberty Hill) for a long time, and have enjoyed BBQ at all of the places you mentioned except for that “Big Cat” place –must be fairly new. One of my favorites is Coopers in Llano–especially their beef ribs, and the “big chop” , but since moving out to Brown county haven’t gotten down there very much. Wish I could remember the name of the steak joint just outside of Waco where the steaks were served on butcher paper also–that would be back in the mid 60’s,–think it was the LoneStar inn??? People would wait in line there too.

    • In my country we have plates,knives,forks,cups,glasses and bowls. What’s with all this third world eating style with fingers out of boxes?

      • lol, I realize you were having fun, Rev, but, I just have to say this (I’m an American): there is just something very satisfying about eating some foods (e.g., pizza, sandwiches, raw veggies, brownies) with your hands. I can’t explain it. I’ve thought about it before (when eating in a formal setting where I HAD to keep my fingers neat and tidy), “Why is eating this with a fork so much less pleasurable?” — Answer: just is. Shrug.

        Wish I had the answer to that mystery. It seems from your comment that British people (and from my experience, Germans and Austrians) as a whole do not share this trait, thus, I think it may be genetic… . but, I’m mostly English, so…. still wondering! :)

      • The Reverend Badger.

        HeHeHe……that made me laugh.

        I was born and brought up in Hong Kong before moving to the UK. Western table etiquette was considered appallingly unhygienic, barbaric and revolting, never mind overcooking food until it is nutritionally barren, then chucking the valuable stock from cooked vegetables down the sink, or throwing the carcass of a chicken away without making soup.

        A western friend of mine observed in horror, of a mutual friends Mauritian wife ” she makes three meals out a chicken!”

        I replied “wasteful bitch, I’m a Scot, I can make four”.

      • Apparently a horribly failed business venture but at least it was not tax dollars wasted (and not a hypocrite). Alas I could not resist…….

      • Don’t set yourself up for failure in your marketing tagline. If that’s not in The Art of Deal, it ought to be. :]

        And Janice, it’s because you’re depriving 90% of your senses from the experience! Raising finger food up to your mouth and taking a full bite engages much more than just your taste buds. You deliver the aroma right up to your nose (smell enhances taste). The food makes contact with the entirety of your mouth (teeth, tongue, cheeks, gums, inside of lips) so the flavor lingers longer. Even your eyes relax from the warmth of hot food moving up the sinuses and into your tear ducts. And of course, the visceral difference of gripping the actual food versus metal or plastic.

        A dainty bite with a fork engages only the back teeth and tongue. :|

  19. Something I’ve never understood about cows & greenhouse gases. Maybe I’m missing something, correct me if I’m wrong. Cows don’t produce more carbon than they take in. Every atom coming out into the atmosphere went in in their food. And the food, grass or grain fixed that carbon from the atmosphere by photosynthesis. So cows don’t produce carbon dioxide. They’re simply part of a cycle. All the cattle in the world don’t add a single atom of extra carbon to the atmosphere. Or is there nuclear fusion going on inside cows?

    • Not “inside” cows…., but,

      they are highly organized and are smarter-than-we-think. Mm, hm.

      NOTICE TO ALL DAIRY AND BEEF FARMERS: check all silos weekly. The Omaha Project is active again.

      Do not underestimate your livestock!

      • Note to all non-U.S. readers: the legend that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicking over a lantern started the Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 8-10, 1871 is what is alluded to above.

      • Boy that brings back memories:

        One dark night when we were all in bed
        Old Lady Leary lit a lantern in the shed
        And when the cow kicked it over she winked her eye and said
        There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.
        Fire! Fire! Fire!

        [repeat repetitively at lower volume each time, but shout Fire! Fire! Fire!]

      • Here you go, lCISIL. Have fun singing. :)

        “Hot Time in the Old Town, Tonight”

        (youtube)

  20. Those of us who eat a ketogenic or LCHF diet know that grass-fed animals are FAR better for the environment than grains and much healthier for people to eat as well. After all, humans are not ruminants and aren’t designed to eat grains (hence all the methane produced when eaten). Animals eat grasses and other native vegetation and turn that into healthy fat and protein for humans to consume. In the process, they churn up the soil and fertilize it, making for a better environment for insects, birds, and wild animals. Win=win.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/actually-raising-beef-is-good-for-the-planet-1419030738

    Animal protein is also far more nutritious, containing just about every essential nutrient (if organ meats are consumed), if grass-fed rather than grain or corn-fed.

    Most of the malnutrition problems in the world would be solved if everyone adopted a grain and sugar-free diet. 3rd world countries dependent on grains as food have severe deficiencies of B vitamins, iron, and Vitamin A, to name a few, in addition to the growing obesity/diabetes/cancer/Alzheimer epidemic. Bring on the steak, bacon, eggs, and butter!

    Bread is also nutritionally deficient, even for ducks, causing deformities:

    https://blog.education.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/27/stop-feeding-ducks-bread/

    In another way grains are bad for the environment as well as people, pesticide-coated canola seeds are contaminating wetlands, killing off the insects that birds depend on. Plus, canola and other vegetables oils are terrible for you. Just eat real fat – butter, lard, coconut oil, etc.

    http://www.audubon.org/magazine/spring-2017/the-same-pesticides-linked-bee-declines-might

    • In the paper the other day:-
      Apparently there is a new fad of wheat grass smoothies.
      If you want to know what they taste like ask a lawnmower.

      • Scrape the bottom of the lawnmower, add to blender. Add water or juice, blend. Should be about right…..

    • Another way to improve nutrition: provide roads so farmers can get product to market as opposed to letting it sit around & rot. Talking to you India.

      Probably easier than dictating what everybody should be eating.

      • I’ve read that no new railway lines have been built in India since 1948, when the British left. New roads have probably been built, but maybe mostly big glamor projects (?), not the small rural roads farmers need. (Just guessing.)

  21. ” We must make serious choices, before agricultural activities cause substantial, and potentially irreversible, environmental damage.”

    It always bothers me when people talk about “irreversible” environmental damage, or lament over things that may “never recover” (like the Great Barrier Reef). How many mass extinctions has planet Earth suffered, five? We could call those global environmental catastrophes, but even they were not irreversible. Life recovered. People need to develop a more long term vision of life on this globe.

  22. Having just skimmed through the paper, 4 things stand out for me.
    They keep talking about acidification, but don’t define what they mean by that.
    When looking at greenhouse production they make no mention of the CO2 enriched atmosphere commonly found inside many greenhouses, typically 1200 – 1500 ppm.
    They don’t count H2O as a greenhouse gas. Does extra evapouration in areas using irrigation not count?
    They have lots of caveats about how they were unable to do this or that due to lack of data. I suppose at least we can give them credit for saying that regarding some things they just don’t know.
    But maybe I have missed things because I didn’t read it slowly.

  23. “Reducing meat consumption and using more efficient farming methods globally are essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environmental, a new study says’

    India suffers from a shortage of animals and manure which is desperately needed on the land.

      • “Farm Yard Manure (FYM) which is the most commonly used organic
        manure in India is in short supply. Under the recently launched Paramparagat
        Krishi Vikas Yogana (PKVY) scheme, the Government is planning to bring
        5 lakh acres of land under organic farming over the next three years. The
        achievement of this target may be in jeopardy due to non-availability of farm
        yard manure. Measures suggested to overcome this shortage are rearing more
        cattle, enhancing the production of organic manure through incentives,
        increasing the land under fodder crops and permanent pastures, encouraging
        the maintenance of cattle through subsidies and incentives and kraaling of
        cattle on the fields”

        http://www.journalijar.com/uploads/210_IJAR-10078.pdf

      • Richard — Traditional agriculture in India is farming system based wherein animal husbandry was a part and thus provided economic, nutrient security. Here farmers used fodder as animal feed. Here crops and cropping patterns included cereals and pulses and thus provided good-nutricious fodder for animal.

        Green revolution technology destroyed this system as this is mono crop chemical input technology that mainly worked under irrigation. The mono crop-hybrid fodder is of poor quality feed for animal. Thus gradually it effected the farmers and encouraged migration to urban areas for greener pastures. Farmers neglected intercropping patterns even under rainfed condition with high risk practiced high input cash crops.

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  24. 98%of New Zealand,s beef production is grass fed and the vast majority graze on land to steep to cultivate . Maybe we should terrace our hills to grow rice .The idiots in charge here are trying to restrict vegetable growing in the Waikato Basin in the future because nitrogen and sediment losses can affect water quality . What they have not taken into account is that Auckland,s population is projected to rise by another million people in the next 50 years .Are our vegetables going to be imported from China ? As for our government they signed up to Kyoto because our green gas emissions were supposed to be very low with most of our electric power generated from hydro and geothermal .But then the green blob said our farmed livestock are emitting methane which is 25 times worse than co2. .Methane is a non problem as it breaks down rapidly in the upper atmosphere back into water and co2 which are both essential to growing grass .Sugar is the real problem

    • Yes Gwan – and a baseline has not (and will never be – no $) established on what the net increase in methane is in relation to ruminants in NZ. Much of the NZ lowlands (e,g, Waikato Basin, Southland) was saturated swamp and peat before drainage. Natural anaerobic decomposition produces methane – including from within our native forest.

  25. “We didn’t find a problem, so we invented one to make our research sound like there was some point to it”

  26. I am reminded of sitting in a university lecture in Environmental Science and looking out at a rather stagnant pond in the middle of campus, inhabited with ducks. It was filthy. On a farm one would simply go out and blow a few away until they got the idea to bugger off. Ducks are clever. Just a few days before annual duck shooting season thousands flock into a large lake centered in my local city, Hamilton, They putrefying that lake too – protected by the double standards of urban idealists. Once upon a time Maori would have swum in it and used it as drinking water.

    Within the lecture notes of the above course the term “”Cowboy Ethics” was used to describe forest clearing in New Zealand over a century ago. This was in the 1990’s when PC was really starting to kick in. I had great pleasure in knocking on the lecturers door to point out that it was discriminatory. Boy – what a fluster! She changed that page by leaving the term in and writing sic as a subscript. Justification was given at the next lecture.

    I personally could not give a damn what they called it but the PC was starting to make me puke.

    The animal husbandry thing gets we going too. How many cats in cities are locked in apartments their entire lives, how many birds in cages and fish in tanks?

    M

    • They cleaned up the pollution in a lake in Ireland and the ducks left.
      Tománková, I., C. Harrod, A. D. Fox and N. Reid. 2013. Chlorophyll-a concentrations and macroinvertebrate declines coincide with the collapse of overwintering diving duck populations in a large eutrophic lake. Freshwater Biology. doi.10.1111/fwb.12261.

  27. We can’t win. Corn fed cattle were the way to go in the past, now it’s grass fed. Now that it’s grass feed, we can’t eat the cows because we’re harming to environment. We could to back to buffalo, but they are notorious for doing whatever they want and tend to unnerve people. No matter what we eat, someone is going to tell us we can’t eat it.

  28. It seems that we’ve been screwing things up royally since harvesting our first apple. Pick it and POOOF! there goes the Garden.

  29. First paragraph:

    “Reducing meat consumption and using more efficient farming methods globally are essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environmental, a new study says.”
    ——————–
    “Environmental” …really.
    Was that like a transcription error or what ??

  30. “If we want to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture”

    Who’s this “we,” jackass?

    You want to starve, knock yo’self out. Please. No reason normal people would want to do that, too.

  31. “Co-author Professor David Tilman said: “It’s essential we take action through policy and education to increase public adoption of low-impact and healthy foods, as well the adoption of low impact, high efficiency agricultural production systems”.

    And there is your money line!!! …. we are from the government and we are here to help you!!

  32. We are plagued by fads. One of the more dangerous fads is organic gardening. It is dangerous in part because it gives unsettled minds of susceptible people the idea that protest against experience can succeed. Protest turns to segregation that leads to riots and sometimes to warfare.
    If organic farming was made compulsory, millions would die from starvation.
    It is a junk concept that strangely makes some people believe it is noble.
    P.S. Australia’s ABC broadcaster has for years proclaimed itself a deliberate advocate of organic farming. This is absolutely contrary to its charter, that requires balance. I have formally complained. The reply was legalese that addressed nothing of importance.
    Geoff

  33. Glaciers covered Chicago in 2 miles of ice and ripped away how much top soil as they retreated – we till a few inches of top soil so we can survive. Tell me again how destructive we are being?

  34. Going vegetarian will cause a giant rise in gull stones if we don’t get fat in our diet. I’m sure doctors would like this.

  35. Although conventional farming and ranching is the most efficient use of land and resources, concede the academics, Yet… “However, the authors note that these findings do not imply conventional practices are sustainable.”

    This just shows that “sustainable” is an utterly empty term and meaningless standard.

    Please, do not try to live without animal products. The B12, superior proteins, iodine, and zinc in beef will save you from having a lot of problems later. If you feel spaced out, try eating a 100% beef hamburger. You really don’t want to end up with mental impairments, nerve damage, and a psychiatric misdiagnosis after denying yourself the very nutrients that would prevent those problems.

    • Zeke, one should point out that organic farming is “conventional farming.”

      Modern high-technology farming is unconventional farming, which is why we all use it these days. High technology farming much more efficient and productive than conventional (organic) farming.

      High technology farming probably has less impact on the land, too, that conventional (organic) because it uses about 1/2 the land to produce the same amount of crop yield.

      • Pat Frank June 16, 2017 at 6:46 pm says, “Zeke, one should point out that organic farming is “conventional farming.””

        I have learned, through many years of experience with the “rigor-free thinking” of organic activists, to use the term “conventional farming.” That is because their term, “organic farming,” is so daft and general that you cannot use its opposite. Of course, there is no such thing as non-organic or inorganic farming, so we say “conventional agriculture.”

        Organic. ha ha.

  36. Read about the American Dust Bowl. It was due to the US govt during WW I encouraging wheat farming in the American Midwest to replace the loss of wheat from Russia. Grass lands were plowed up to plant wheat. The rest, as they say, is history.

    • In the 19th century, the Midwest plains were commonly referred to as the “Great American Desert”. The Dust Bowl reminded us why. Big, flat, treeless, arid, and WINDY.

  37. The real problem is mankind’s out of control population..We need to be reducing human population, not enabling it to increase.

    • Will haas, did you know that population growth has been slowing all of its own Accord? It will level off at ~9billion near 2050. UN of course says 10-11b,ever alarmist. When I look at a ‘problem’ I start by trying envision the gross dimensions of the problem (the engineer in me): 90 billion people would fit in Lake Superior with about a square metre to tread water in. 7 billion could even swim around.

      We are over 80% of the natural peak world population. When we get there, Malthusians will have finally been shut up. All the linear thinking and modelling will be in history’s scrap heap. We will overshoot the 9billion only if we don’t stop all the misanthropic ugliness and retardation of global prosperity. Ideologues and useful designer-brained idiots are the chief impediment to an exciting milestone in the race’s journey.

    • I would invite your attention to the book “What to Expect When Nobody is Expecting”. It is about the collapsing populations. The Population Bomb? Another hoax just like CAGW.

  38. “Larger dietary shifts, such as global adoption of low-meat or vegetarian diets, would offer even larger benefits to environmental sustainability and human health.”

    He is advocating for bringing back the “poor diseases.”

    It so happens that the Americans, with their free press, churches, and independent living utterly disproved the Social Darwinist theory that viewed the poor underclass people as racially inferior. They were just undernourished and illiterate. And so it is, every time a class of people who have been branded as inferior by the Racial Darwinists have obtained liberty, family, literacy and a good diet, the Darwinists have been utterly utterly debunked. This has happened over and over again.

    In fact, our young black soldiers of WWI went over and freed the French from the Aryans on their obnoxious Neitzchean conquest of Europe. How does it feel for Darwinists to be so wrong about racial advantage over and over? I sometimes wonder.

  39. The solution to the expressed problem is obvious.
    Modern science is very good at genetically altering various organisms. So set science to work to downsizing the human body. But leave all animals we eat as they are. Humans only 2 feet tall will eat far less meat — less crowing too. :>)

  40. organic’s reduced reliance on chemicals…

    Got that everyone? Cow poop isn’t chemicals. That sort of rigor-free thinking infects all of the sustainability field. Cow-poop fertilizer also leaches nitrogen year-round, unlike ammonia fertilizer.

    Then then this, which follows the above, “ … with the high yields of conventional systems…” But the high yields of “conventional systems” (read, high-technology farming), requires the use of chemical fertilizers applied at just the right time during the high-growth phase of crop plants.

    Sustainability studies: unsustainable.

    • Pat Frank says, “Got that everyone? Cow poop isn’t chemicals. That sort of rigor-free thinking infects all of the sustainability field. Cow-poop fertilizer also leaches nitrogen year-round, unlike ammonia fertilizer.”

      And not only have chemical fertilizers been systematically and increasingly targeted by the European Union and the EPA, but environmentalists have instantly forgotten what they have wrought, as usual.

      They are now busying themselves with legislation to require cattle ranchers to purchase expensive equipment in California to turn the cow manure into…wait for it…

      fuel.

    • Every other plant could be a Chrysanthemum* flower.
      The world would be a prettier place.

      *Pyrethrins are nonspecific insecticides. What could go wrong?

  41. Minnesota, as well as Washington State (others?), have a sales tax but it does not include grocery food.
    It should.
    Folks that want $20/pound beef will pay more tax than those that buy pork or chicken.
    This will be an incentive to decrease beef consumption. Thus, the world will be saved.
    The additional tax on poverty types could be adjusted for via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), once called food stamps, or another program.

    • Great idea, great. That’s the easiest way to shape and direct human behavior. The taxes on liquor and tobacco have eliminated the consumption of those products entirely. Taxes, a marvelous tool for shaping the behavior of the masses. And a program to ameliorate their impact on the poor shows that the government can’t be truly characterized as a bloodsucking leech. They may have to tweak some other taxes to pay for their mitigation programs but that’s alright. It is a humanitarian cause after all. And if the taxes really bring in the revenue they can use the money to develop new and better tools for the management of their citizen/subjects. Here’s how you could demonstrate how that would work. Select a tax rate that is in your opinion appropriate. Apply it to all your food purchases and write a check for the amount you have calculated payable to your state’s department of revenue. Mail the check within 24 hours of your food purchase. In other words put your money where your mouth is, literally. Even if it doesn’t catch on you can take pride in your virtuous conduct.

  42. Ruminant animals have 5 stomachs. They can eat grass as their dietary staple and thrive; humans can’t do this. As far as land use my sheep graze hillsides mostly, areas rejected for use as “cropland”. The best part is the average female produces 4 lambs per year; twins in the spring and twins in the fall. If you didn’t kill the lambs, your flock would multiply so fast that they would soon denude the landscape of forage and their population would crash through starvation. My argument against the vegans has always been that sheep have 5 stomachs and humans don’t…and “would you care to try the fresh mint sauce?”

    • “As far as land use my sheep graze hillsides mostly, areas rejected for use as “cropland”. The best part is the average female produces 4 lambs per year; twins in the spring and twins in the fall”

      Wow – what is this super breed? A sheep that cycles within 4 weeks of giving birth? I have never heard of it. The best I have heard of is one crop every 9 months (e.g. the Dorset breed), but this is unusual.

      But you are right IMO. Sheep improve fertility, eat many weeds and don’t kill most shrubs, unlike goats – they are really destructive.

      Cheers

      M

    • I know WUWT goes light on moderation, but Voisin’s fully articulated thought process was certainly a candidate.

      [The mods did seriously consider that entry – for full pruning, for partial pruning (though “sh*t” was starred itself by the original writer), or for removal entirely. But, considering the considerable amount of “BS” and the number of replies about “BS” in this article on farming and manure and fertilizers, it was felt that short, succient replies such as this more fully reveal the true value of the original writer’s “fully articulated thought process” all the better with its original words and letters intact. .mod]

  43. On this subject matter see my book “Green” Green Revolution: Agriculture in the perspective of Climate Change [2011] available at http://www.scribd.com/Google Books, 160p — the revised version is under printing from a publisher.

    One of the figure in the present presentation is similar to Figure 1 in my article “Discussion: Over-emphasis on energy terms in crop yield models”, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 77:113-120, 1995 [Elsevier]. The figure “Variation of relative growth or relative yield with relative radiation stress, relative water stress or relative nutrition stress: An hypothetical case”.

    The following is my recent article published in a daily newspaper:

    http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/News-Analysis/2017-01-30/For-a-workable-Green-Revolution–/276832

    For a workable Green Revolution
    THE HANS INDIA | Jan 30,2017 , 02:12 AM IST

    India is an agrarian country providing employment directly or indirectly to around 60 percent of the rural population. Even with heavy input subsidies, loan waivers schemes and minimum support prices, among other things, farmers’ suicides are rampant while agricultural growth remains sluggish.

    Ironically, it is the middlemen who are reaping dividends. Why it is so and what is the remedy?

    The traditional agriculture was a soil and climate driven farming system that encompassed animal husbandry and provided socio-economic, food and nutrient security. Those were the ‘golden days’ in the history of farming. It was an environment-friendly system and was highly successful and sustainable. No pollution, no worry about seeds and fertilizer adulteration as they used good grain as seed and compost of farmyard manure and green manure as fertilizer.

    The 1960s saw “profit-driven western chemical inputs tailored-mono crop technology” that came to be known as Green Revolution Technology [GRT], increased the production substantially in terms of quantity but failed to achieve the quality of traditional agriculture. Unfortunately, our scientists get paid from public money but serve western multinational companies. It is all like the present demonetization scheme wherein government and people lost through new notes printing, importing Chinese Machines, using US Cards and losing livelihood.

    On an average, around 65 percent of cultivated area is at the mercy of “rain gods”. The remaining 35 percent of the area under irrigation presents high year to year fluctuations. The present rulers are diversifying lakhs of acres for non-agriculture activities; yet our land statistics are not changing.

    When GRT was introduced nobody knew that this would create an environmental catastrophe – air, water [particularly non-point source], soil and food pollution. Even the Nobel Prize awarding organization was not aware of this while conferring it to Norman Borlaug.

    The traditional technology was evolved over hundreds of years’ experience of farmers and whereas the GRT was evolved over few years research farm experience with large yield gap between on farm and research station. To make it viable entered government’s input subsidy, a huge component. Around one-third of the fertilizer finds its way in to black market. In accordance with my proposal, the then UPA government initiated to pay cash subsidy directly to farmers with Aadhaar link, instead of retailers or industry. However, this subsidy does not include organic fertilizers. This needs to be addressed.

    In India Bt-cotton, the Genetically Modified [GM] Seed is in use since 2002-03. The productivity has been stagnant for the past five years – in the case of GRT it is stagnated since 1984-85. With the no crop rotation and changes in climate, in the five Bt-Cotton states, the farmers’ suicides are rampant with the high investments. The 2nd Green Revolution must be farming system. To achieve this goal, governments must create a mechanism to collect traditional inventions of progressive farmers and integrate them into traditional technology to achieve the 2nd Green Revolution that safeguards the environment and provide food safety, bio-safety, food and nutrient security.

    To achieve sustainable agriculture, therefore, the governments must change the policy. It must include low input costs, pollution-free quality food technology such as organic inputs under cooperative farming setup. This not only brings down the cost of production but also reduces man-hours spent on procuring basic inputs by individual farmers, improves the utilization of natural resources and thus helps to reach sustainable agriculture. Better water management plays a crucial role – diversifying through less water intensive crops under micro irrigation systems. We need crop rotation and intercropping system to reduce the risk under cash crops.

    However, the success depends upon: better post-harvesting technologies including sufficient storage facilities, export facilities, transport facilities, food processing industries, better education and health care facilities, which might reduce the migration to urban centers.

    (The writer is a former Chief Technical Advisor of WMO/UN)

    By Dr S Jeevananda Reddy

  44. Cattle graze land unsuitable for farming and convert horrid weeds and brush into palatable food. Greens are against mining, but think turning harsh land into a farm has no effect on the environment? Of course, the only safe way to farm is organic. I’d be interested in research on what it would take to convert land from grazing to a profitable or even a self sustaining organic farm.

  45. and completely no mention of dirt.
    no idea of what it is, how it works, where it comes from.
    a fat load of nothing.

    Even Rud, a seemingly sensible intelligent sort, attempts to protect his own ass with his own tale about ethanol distillers waste.
    This is the recycling fallacy. Maybe recycling is good but take a moment to actually THINK.
    Does it not need a ‘rich’ somebody/thing somewhere to produce the original item.?
    Every time something/anything goes round the loop , some of it is lost. Recycling is not sustainable for that reason. The ting that is lost in th ethanol ‘thing’ is soil organic carbon.
    It controls/defines soil fertility, water retention, soil mechanical strength etc etc. And water controls the local temperature. Get enough ‘locals’ and you’re ‘global’

    Rud, please get yourself a CO2 datalogger and put it out in your fields. Run it for at least 12 months. Please.
    And do not believe or swallow to patter put out by the snake salesmen. I thought you were above that :-(
    e.g. The wheat to biofuel factory in NE England could ONLY justify its energy flows by counting the calories the animals gained from eating the mush that came out of it. It could not even justify itself without that. Incredible. And then, if the cows’ diet consisted more than 19% of that sh1t, it killed them.

    This endless stream of craziness is starting to get worrisome, not least as this si the new panic that is going to follow on from CO2 – once a few more people than DJT and some/most of us here realise what an utter and total scientific crock it actually is.
    But the ozone/CFC thing has to die first and when ‘even’ NASA are still convinced of that sh1t science, we’ve some time to wait…….

    • and everybody/anybody, do not give me any garbage ‘science’ about cow poop.
      Again, it falls at the recycling hurdle. Not sustainable.

      What actually sustained the buffalo herds was their feet and their liking for sugar/glucose. The mother cows need it to make fat=milk=new cows.
      The sugar was found in new growth (leaves only) of the grass plants. That is what they selectively ate and used their feet to trample the stalks (cellulose and quite indigestible) back into the dirt.
      When cows burp, that is the indigestible cellulose fermenting (read = rotting) in their stomachs.
      They fed the dirt as they moved around feeding themselves.
      An that is what is totally lacking in almost every (apart from arguably organic) farming system developed & used by mankind.

      And why do vegetarians f4rt so much?
      WebMD tells me its normal/natural for a human to drop 30 per day and less than 10 means you should be seeing a doctor. Are You Fooking Crazy?

      You f4rt because you have turned your insides into a rotten stinking compost heap – it is the uncontrolled anaerobic breakdown of cellulose and whatever else garbage you recently pushed into your face.
      And they think that that is normal and actually good.
      Lord help us.

  46. “It’s essential we take action through policy and education to increase public adoption of low-impact and healthy foods”
    There is something seriously wrong with people who presume to know what we should be eating. What’s healthy for one person isn’t necessarily healthy for another. People eat what their systems can digest. And some people are a lot more sensitive than others.
    That said, there is a little issue of whether or not we need to change how we get our food – there are some very surprising answers and this man provides some convincing evidence for what needs to be done. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-livestock-grazing-stop-desertification/

    • I remember once attending a lecture by a physician who claimed, without reservation, that if people were to eat only meat they would die. I then asked him how Eskimos had managed to survive for so long.

      • To get vitamin C from meat, you need to eat it raw. Eskimos also eat caribou stomach contents. Where possible, they add berries to their diet.

      • I recall reading that they learnt to eat a specific organ of a marine species to stay healthy. Research established that it contained Vitamin C

      • Clyde my wife went to the University of California, graduated, and used their medical system. The one in Sacramento, and in Davis, some of the most liberal people on the planet.

        She’s had car wrecks and had to get her neck pinned. The pins pulled out, she had them redone, all this time laying up crippled, later in life, big viking woman, she started to store fat and gain weight, she thought she’d check on those stomach shrinking operations.

        Got into the class, I came along because they recommend it, this is a teaching hospital so they want to do it all as intelligently as possible, so – to use their weight loss surgery program, you have to take a psychological assessment, and go to some classes.

        FIRST DAY: Woman says: I’m sorry to tell those of you this, who are thinking about getting the most complete version of this surgery but if you don’t have a diet, after this, consisting almost entirely of meat,
        you’ll get sick and die.

        For two hours she explained why vegetables and non meats simply can not provide proper nutrition and that if you try to live on food, and only have such tiny amounts as the operation eventually causes you to want to eat – you’ll have to eat meat, mostly chicken but other meats too – no negotiation, no nothing.

        If you think you’re gonna be a vegetarian or vegan you’re so wrong – you’re going to STOP – eating most plant material so the food you DO put in your stomach has enough nutrition to keep you alive. You STILL have to take nutritional supplements BIG way because there’s just not enough nutrition coming in.

        Sacramento California about six months ago I sat in a class with a doctor – a doctor – University of California’s NUTRITIONALIST – explaining to a room full of about a DOZEN women and three husbands,

        that if you don’t eat some meat: you’ll get sick and DIE.

        She was of course talking about two types of operation and the one that she said the above, about – that’s the one where they shrink your stomach down to only an ounce.

        But in any case, if you think I’m joking or that I’m exaggerating, not only am I not exaggerating – when I was a kid I had some elderly family we all took turns taking care of and they made them eat chicken too because they were eating so little. It has to do with plants simply not having the same nutritional profile as an animal so the components of an animal’s makeup just can’t be synthesized from vegetables alone, in small amounts.

        Now- being an athlete myself and always interested in long term fitness I also remember when the guy or gal crossed some ocean on a pedal powered plane: these people were training as vegetarians. Maybe even as vegans. They were trying to get their bodies used to running high octane fuel that immediately turned into energy because they needed to take nutrition with them.

        And – this is part of the point. When you have a mammal you can feed it for different reasons, so you can achieve different ends. For example, this is so well known in nutrition that it’s an accepted trueism: if you want a mammal to live longer with everything else being variable, – feed it 25% short of a fully nutritional diet.

        And there are a whole bunch of these ”on the OTHER hand…” stories about diet.

        So I’m not going to go into why I personally feel comfortable telling this story past, the fact it happened to me about six or seven months ago. The wife decided not to get the operation and is trying to starve out and make it on supplements and obviously she’s miserable and not losing too much weight.

        The point of my adding the story about the vegetarian/vegan sorta super-athletes trying to live only on those is to demonstrate generally – this is blogging after all, long posts are discouraged – that I understand about varying activity and genetics profiles, demanding differing nutritional regimes.

        What I’m saying’s supposed to be tucked appropriately – into a LARGE cache of personal knowledge. That knowledge is supposed to include a grasp of ”more vs less” ”all vs none” etc, and actually be able to ponder bionutritional profiles without emotional disorder popping up.

        If you’re one of those unlucky liberals who’s read everything the government handed and demanded of you

        and nothing more
        because thinking makes you hurt, then you may disregard any or all of the above until you’re slightly less dangerous.

  47. ‘Using life cycle assessments – which detail the input, output and environmental impact of a food production system – the researchers analysed the comparative environmental impacts of different food production systems (e.g. conventional versus organic; grain-fed versus grass-fed beef; trawling versus non-trawling fisheries; and greenhouse-grown versus open-field produce), different agricultural input efficiencies (such as feed and fertilizer), and different foods.’

    Word salad devoid of meaning. Meant to impress the naive.

  48. In the US, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) are regulated. There is no run off. Farmers must show via a nutrient management plan how the manure is used to grow crops.

    We are currently in semi-arid eastern Washington State where dairy cows outnumber people in most counties. I have been on a dairy farm where the computer controlled feed is delivered to the cow based on milk samples. While the cows are in the milking barn, stalls are automatically washed and the manure flushed to lagoons. The net result is more milk per cow at a lower cost.

    We are currently at our boat 10 miles from a 100,000 feedlot. Next door is the meat packing plant. The only noticeable environmental impact is more cars on the road at shift change.

    The bottom line is affordable protein.

  49. “Grass-fed beef, meanwhile, tended to require more land and emit more GHGs than grain-fed beef.”

    Why would grass-fed beef emit more GHGs? Grains are farmed and require the clearing of land, fertilizers, planting and harvesting with farm equipment, transportation, etc. Cows on grass lands, at least here in the West, eat the grass and plants that spring up on their own. If the cows don’t eat it, what isn’t eaten by other animals dries up and decomposes or burns in wild fires. It all gets converted back to GHGs in the end. So I fail to see how cows make GHG emissions any worse by acting as a middle man in the process. Plants, whether they be grasses, grains, or vegetables, take carbon out of the air and release it back when they are digested or decomposed. Is there really much difference in the end? Did these researchers take everything into consideration, or just the things that were convenient?

    • Green house gases aren’t pollution Louis. It’s a scam. Complete, in fact CO2 in particular isn’t pollution. Ever.

      Even on our nuclear submarines they run 10,000 ppm CO2 fairly regularly. 8,000 ppm more often.

      They don’t have to strip it from the air because it does no harm to humans or to any mammal for that matter.

      • Kit think for yourself on this:
        – cow eats carbon containing grass. – – – – Cow makes carbon containing meat – – cow drops most of the carbon it eats as manure
        – cow breathes out CO2
        – cow flatulates carbon containing gas

        More than half the carbon is dropped on the pasture where it adds carbon and other good stuff to the soil. However, the grass grows back taking up a 100% of the carbon from the atmosphere that the cow ORIGINALLY ate! Of course man eats the meat (replaces the steer) and and breathes out CO2, poops some of the carbon and sequesters the rest.

        Basically, the cow is a pump that continually pumps carbon OUT OF THE ATMOSPHERE.

  50. “Cow-poop fertilizer also leaches nitrogen year-round, unlike ammonia fertilizer.”

    “in California to turn the cow manure into…wait for it…
    Fuel.”

    Some basic misconceptions here. Bacteria eat plant and animal waste to grow more bacteria. Bacteria have a high nitrogen to carbon ratio so the bacteria is storing nitrogen and micronutrients.
    Bacteria ‘glue’ soil particles together reducing wind and water erosion. When the weather warms, other microorganisms (with a lower N:C ratio) eat the bacteria and poop (a technical term) the excess nitrogen and micronutrients.
    A friend who is a conventional farmer explains why he used compost. The way he explained it, if a crop needs x amount N, if 25% of the N comes from composted dairy farm manure, then the total amount of N needed decreases by 50%, of a 50% reduction in his N fertilizer needs.
    I asked why he does not use more compost. The demand exceeds the supply which is surprising considering the number of feedlots.
    Bacteria do something else, excess C is volatilized to CO2 and CH4 or biogas.
    As far as expensive equipment is concerned, millionaire California dairy farmers are the only segment of society that can cause eye water pollution and call it agricultural odor. The odor is caused by poor manure management practices.
    One dairy farmer told me his biggest concern is another dairy farm moving in a stinking up the area. I could not smell any cows from the road but could parked next 1000 dairy cow.

    • “Cow-poop fertilizer also leaches nitrogen year-round, unlike ammonia fertilizer.” ~Pat Frank

      He is just referring to the fact that all of the decomposers that break down the compost require the same nutrients that plants do. N, K, P. It is true of compost chemistry that a soil can be depleted of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous by the decomposers themselves. In fact, add miracle-gro to your compost heap and the decomposers will accelerate their composting activity.

      So stop the war on Nitrogen you bullys.

      • How does compost deplete soil of nitrogen? Soil includes organic matter (aka compost). I like to think of bacteria as time release capsules for nitrogen.

        If you are growing something, the compost should be designed for the crop. Another we had clay. In the fall we had lots of leaves. Since we did not have a dairy cow as a source of nitrogen, we mixed grass clippings with the leaves. It took a few years to get rich soil.

        A corollary to what Zeke is saying is that farmers who do not do it right go out of business. I attended a extension class on the agricultural use of compost. While the right amount of the right compost increase crop yeild, too much will kill the plants. Duh!

        Feed lots are great for providing meat for the poor. Mono culture crops turn scrub land into the world’s bread basket. What’s not to like.

      • Retired Kit P says, “How does compost deplete soil of nitrogen? Soil includes organic matter (aka compost). I like to think of bacteria as time release capsules for nitrogen.”

        Yes sir, but in some instances the bacteria require as much nitrogen as is available to decompose the compost. Some of us amateurs with clay soil learned this when we tried to add saw dust to the clay soil.

        “A corollary to what Zeke is saying is that farmers who do not do it right go out of business. I attended a extension class on the agricultural use of compost.” Kit P

        Yes and a tangent to the corollary is that adding even aged manure to row crops is not nearly as safe as adding fertilizers from canisters. The reason is that microorganisms such as salmonella can survive in manure for long enough to go on the crops. People who do not want to buy organic food have many reasons for it.

  51. What we should really be doing is working to control our human population. If Mankind does not control his own population then Mother Nature will, catistrophically

      • LmaO dred I’ve seen that joke dozens. Waaaaaaay down here, that’s what I run into, pretty much pronouncing full stop to hundreds of informative and witty posts. Hilarious!

        [You have 5 different user-id’s. Chose one. .mod]

    • willhaas June 17, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      What we should really be doing is working to control our human population. If Mankind does not control his own population then Mother Nature will, catistrophically

      Thanks, willhaas, but I fear that you’ll have to take a number and wait in line. People have been making your same claim ever since Robert Thomas Malthus made it famous in 1798. The claim is that our population is on the verge of outstripping the earth’s resources, and when that happens, nature will reduce our numbers catastrophically.

      However, in the event, Malthus has been proven wrong not once, but over and over and over. The latest incarnation is Paul Ehrlich, who wrote the wildly incorrect “The Population Bomb” back a half century ago. It predicted mass starvation in the 1970s … never happened. Despite that, Ehrlich has been peddling the same line of BS over and over. He predicted food riots in the streets would happen in the 1980s. He predicted the end of civilization by the year 2000. And despite being a total failure as a serial doomcaster, guess what?

      Ehrlich is still a full Professor at Stanford, and he’s still trying to sell the same line of snake oil. His latest claim is that he was 100% right in all of his past predictions that Mother Nature would catastrophically step in. Yep. He claims he was totally correct. Who knew?

      He says his only minor error was that he got the timing a bit wrong … but population catastrophe will absolutely definitely happen within the next twenty years.

      However, guess what?

      He says that the fact that it hasn’t happened yet means that when it does happen it will be Worse Than We Thought™!

      I’m sorry, willhaas, but Malthus has been proven wrong, his 19th and 20th-century followers have been proven wrong, Ehrlich has been proven wrong … and I fear your claim of impending doom will fare no better. Population DOUBLED in my lifetime, and people are eating better than ever.

      Best regards,

      w.

      • The growth rate of human population has nosedived since Ehrlich prophesied doom. In the developed world, it’s below replacement. In the developing world, it’s headed that way.

      • ‘Die off’ is based on curves of exponential bacteria growth. Rather than be a catastrophe, the dead bacteria just become plant food. The cycle goes on.

        Catastrophe is a human concept. It is our choice to see nature as a catastrophe or the miracle of life.

      • Gabro June 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm

        The growth rate of human population has nosedived since Ehrlich prophesied doom. In the developed world, it’s below replacement. In the developing world, it’s headed that way.

        And despite that, both Ehrlich and willhaas are prophesying doom … go figure.

        w.

      • Willis,

        Lots of people who should know better are stuck in the 1960s. Uncanny how Ehrlich hit the peak in growth rate precisely. On the Street, he’d be a perfect counter-indicator:

        Retired,

        Yet there have indeed been catastrophes in earth history, such as the Great Oxygenation Event, in which the build up of O2 from cyanobacteria wiped out most other microbes, which of course then were anaerobic. But life recovered.

      • Human advances in technology, agriculture and medical sciences insure that the claims of Malthus, Ehrlich, et al are complete crap. Same holds true for the screechers of the religion of Human Caused Globall Warmining. They are all one trick ponies, and the trick that pony does is to lie on the ground, dead and bloated, as they whip it.

      • I grant you that past predictions have been wrong. But the Earth’s resources are finite as is the livable area. The Earth cannot support an infinite population. Science and technology has made available huge new resources of fossil fuel but the Earth’s supply is still finite. Mankind has to convert to alternate sources of energy before the Earth’s supply of fossil fuels runs out. We must also lower our population enough so that the alternate sources will be enough.

      • Will,

        Resources aren’t finite, given human ingenuity. We are far from exhausting those available even with present technology.

        Humans occupy only a tiny area of the planet. There is a lot of land left, not to mention the sea.

        Clearly, our population isn’t going infinite. It will stabilize around ten to eleven billion.

        Not to worry. That’s so last century. Indeed, so 1960s.

      • At the density of Los Angeles County, which has lots of open space, the population of the whole world would fit into less area than the USA.

      • There still may be a lot of resources and space available but they are still finite. I live in Orange County, California and every year there is less land availabe for new housing and less land available for food production. The city is fignting battles over high density appartment compleses. There are less new housing projects going on there were 40 years ago because there is very little vacant land left. Water supply has become a big problem.

    • Willhaas, it might seem like there are too many people, to you, but in fact, there aren’t.

      It’s the fact willhaas, that people, just LOVE to team together like a bunch of snakes all coiled up around each other, in a giant felled tree, or in a hollowed out place within some rocks. They’ll get in there and it’ll look like there are hundreds when in fact it’s only about 40 or 60 having a big, slow-motion orgy.

      Which, I guess you might say about the people in these various, disgustingly – to Western sensibilities- ghetto metropolises where millions upon scores of millions of people are packed into places like Sardines.

      People,
      like to do that.

      They don’t do it quite so much because they like it, but because overall, it’s simply easier, to stay alive, clothed, and interested.

      Everybody knows, there are ways to hack humanity along, into a wilderness area and not completely destroy the place. The main way is to simply leave the waterways coursing through the area, and don’t develop every square inch.

      That alone – access to water and cover and some modest food – stops nearly all extinctions. Couple that with putting in actual parks, and major extinctions can easily be stopped altogether when humanity moves into an area.

      Indeed one of the CHECKS – when you’re asking yourself just as an aside, what the wildlife situation is like in a place – is ”is mankind there?”

      IF mankind IS there – the biodiversity will just go up. Everywhere man goes, he loves to bring animals with him, and furthermore, since nearly all mammals survive and more importantly thrive within similar environmental bands they generally, do oK as long as someone doesn’t kill out the introduced species. Why?
      Because of kids and moms who go get books and figure out how to make whatever critter it is, a little haven in the metro. This is the course of human history. Tribe of adults going along, bunch of kids,
      some of the kids have a little string on a baby animal they found or caught.

      Now. As far as how many people the planet can actually sustain? The most common estimate you see,

      is FOUR TIMES as many people. FOUR TIMES, before the world would actually be as populated as it could be without creating some serious expansion of the livable area

      It’s simply, SIMPLY NOT TRUE, that there are too many people. Professors at schools, whose idiocy is well tracked, are CONSTANTLY making this claim, and it’s simply, NOT true.

      You can look it up yourself if you want to, I doubt you will since you are – sadly – probably a liberal if you’ve been fed that lie and never even checked.

      The reason I say that is because even the most cursory check shows you – not just in someone elses’ opinion but you can sort it out yourself – science isn’t complicated although liberals claim it is – that it’s not true, there are too many people.

      It”s just that people like to fight, and steal and get things the easy way, rather than each individual human determining to learn the absolute most possible and make the world a better place. Lazy primates would simply rather lie cheat and steal than work, and this has been proven in zoos over, and over.

      Primates have a criminal streak and they’ll start predating as SOON as it becomes more convenient. Which may be another reason people don’t spread out through the environment more.

      It doesn’t PAY
      the educated self-assessed ‘illuminati’ types – whatever the ________ that actually is LoL – the educated predator who gets a slip of paper saying he or she is above work and that they must – MUST be telling others to work or something has gone completely wrong in the world – these people NEED to have people CLUSTER UP so they can be more easily FLEECED.

      So there are a LOT of reasons people – like termites, and ants, and snakes, and birds and bees – and pretty much any other critter that runs in fairly large batches –

      congregate themselves into these tightly nested sardine-can situations. When you think about it – the amount of space between critters, etc – isn’t it JUST LIKE an ant-hill or a termite nest in some ways?

      Samuel

      [You have 5 different user-id’s. Chose one. .mod]

  52. LoL I do agree to some degree being a biology major however the first thing that pops into my mind is ”I suspect in-depth interviews with those bacteria would reveal another opinion about ‘catastrophe’ vs ‘just another day inside a dead skunk on the road’ !

    Maybe it was funnier in my head

    [You have 5 different user-id’s. Chose one. .mod]

  53. “adding even aged manure to row crops is not nearly as safe as adding fertilizers from canisters. ”

    Zeke is correct, if fact it is down right dangerous. At the risk of being condescending, there are good bacteria and bad ones (aka pathogens). If you take properly produced dairy farm manure and spread it on your kitchen counter and then cut up a raw chicken, the good bacteria will out compete salmonella bacteria.

    Bad news Zeke, it a dangerous world. Many years ago I took an environmental chemistry class. One of the lab requirement involved taking sample of drinking water, roof runoff, river water, and water from a park with duck and geese after the grass was watered. We tested for the level of pathogen bacteria. Except for chlorine treated tap water, it was bad.
    Food safety is important. Some organic farmers are loons. Most is just big business with good quality assurance. I would not pay more for the ‘word’ organic on the label.

  54. “Kit think for yourself on this:”
    So Gary what you are saying and doing is that one should avoid studying science and just make simplistic and stupid statements.

    Gary maybe you should avoid thinking for yourself.

  55. “Yet there have indeed been catastrophes in earth history, such as the Great Oxygenation Event, ”

    Gabro thanks for making my point. The evolution of life on earth is a very interesting scientific topic.

    It is a human concept to use wildly dramatic and inaccurate language (catastrophes, wiped out). I have a theory that such language is not necessary for a true catastrophe. I looked up Pompeii on wiki and then searched for ‘catastrophes’. Only one hit, in the title of a recent research paper.

    Researchers using hyperbole, who knew!

  56. Some mass extinction events

    Hadean/Archaean: Protocells totally wiped out by modern prokaryotes.

    Paleoproterozoic: Most anaerobic organisms wiped out by oxygen-producing cyanobacteria.

    Neoproterozoic: Ediacaran biota wiped out by its members’ consuming the bacterial slime mats upon which they fed, leading to the Cambrian Explosion.

    Ordovician/Silurian: Ice age wiped out ~1/3 of brachiopod and bryozoan families, plus many groups of conodonts, trilobites and graptolites.

    Late Devonian: Probable anoxic oceans wiped out around 20% of marine families and more than 50% of all genera, especially brachiopods, trilobites and reef-building organisms, which latter almost completely disappeared.

    Permian/Triassic: Still unsure about cause(s) of this “Great Dying”, but up to 96% of marine species, 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species, 83% of all genera, 57% of all families, and even many insect groups were wiped out,

    Triassic/Jurassic: A whole class of marine organisms (conodonts), 34% of all marine genera, all archosaurs other than two crocodylomorph groups and pterosaurs and dinosaurs, some remaining therapsids (“mammal-like reptiles”) and many large amphibians were wiped out.

    Cretaceous/Paleogene: Except for some cold-blooded groups (turtles and croc relatives), no tetrapods weighing more than 55 pounds survived, as the whole subclass of ammonites and a host of other sea creatures and plankton were wiped out.

    Yet each of these catastrophes led to the eventual evolution of ever more complex and diverse ecosystems.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s